Bounce-back Games Routine For Redick

Rowan Kavner

BROOKLYN - J.J. Redick had just bounced back from a 2-for-11 shooting night to go 4-for-5 from 3-point range and help lead the Clippers to a win, yet the perfectionist couldn’t help himself.

The last three times Redick has shot 20 percent or worse in a game, he’s followed it up by shooting 57 percent or better, which was the case again Saturday against the Nets. Redick scored 21 points in 23 minutes, yet somehow after the game he was still fixated on missing two of his seven free throws.

“I just can’t make free throws right now,” said Redick, who’s shooting better than 85 percent at the line. “I’m like one of the worst free-throw shooters on our team right now, I feel like.”

He’s only three games removed from an 11-for-11 performance at the free-throw line, yet missing just one or two shots in a game from the charity stripe constitutes a bit of a slump in the mind of the typically automatic free-throw shooter.

“It’s funny, and it’s the same thing in the summer when I don’t shoot for a while, it’s always free throws,” Redick said. “It’s the rhythm at the free-throw line that I find always takes the longest to come back.”

It could be that type of perfectionist mindset which shows why Redick can bounce back the way he does.

“J.J., it’s funny, the guy that shoots the best still practices more than everybody else, which I always couldn’t figure out,” said head coach Doc Rivers. “You would think everyone else would do more. But J.J. takes the most shots, he works the most on his shots, so he knows even on bad nights it’s going to come back.”

Redick’s dealt with multiple injuries early this season, missing time with both back and ankle injuries. It’s disrupted various parts of his game, from rhythm to energy.

But the difficulties never last long.

Every time Redick has a rough night shooting, he seems to answer with one of his best.

“It’s just flushing it,” Redick said. “That’s the great thing about the NBA. Good game, bad game, it doesn’t matter. There’s always one within 24 to 48 hours, usually. In 82 games, you’re going to have 10 or 12 clunkers, probably. So, you just kind of accept that, take your shots.”

He hasn’t had any issues doing that.

Shortly after returning from his ankle injury early this season, Redick went 1-for-6 with three points in a game against the Jazz, playing just 21 minutes. He followed that up by going 8-for-14, scoring 20 points in 25 minutes against the Pelicans.

When Redick returned from his ankle injury to start this road trip, he went 1-for-9 in Minnesota. The next game, he finished two points shy of tying his career high, pouring in 31 points on 11-for-18 shooting in Milwaukee.

“Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don’t,” Redick said. “But your preparation, your routine, it all stays the same.”

So when Redick scored eight points on a 2-for-11 night in Chicago, it wasn’t difficult to guess what would come next.

Redick went 6-for-10 from the floor in Brooklyn, including back-to-back 3-pointers in the second quarter to help the Clippers build their early lead after Thaddeus Young was whistled for a flagrant foul for shoving Redick.

“I’m not going to say it got me going,” Redick said.

Redick claimed he was already engaged in the game, but it certainly didn’t seem to hurt as he once again bounced back from a tough night to become a go-to scorer.

And when that happens, good things follow.

The Clippers moved to 30-4 since Redick joined the team in games when Redick scores at least 20 points. This year, the Clippers are 4-0 when that happens.

“Honestly, even if he doesn’t have it going early, I think he’s going to hit shots,” said Blake Griffin. “I always think his next shot’s going on. But when he does, it just opens up everything. They have to kind of switch their game plan around it to cater to chasing him off screens or at least being aware of him. It opens everything up for us.”

That was the case again Saturday, allowing open looks down the stretch for Griffin and Chris Paul.

“When J.J. gets hot like that, it’s trouble for everybody,” Paul said.