The Adjustment | Redick Helping Keep Nets Threat in Check
JJ Redick will always be associated with shotmaking rather than shot prevention.
That’s the way it goes when you rank 11th among all active players in 3-pointers, and eighth in 3-point percentage.
But as the 76ers have successfully managed to take the lead in their first-round playoff series behind wins over the Brooklyn Nets in Games 2 and 3, Redick’s impact on the defensive side of the floor has been a significant subplot.
It just might not be getting a ton of attention.
Know this, though:
Serving as the lead defender on Brooklyn’s Joe Harris the past two contests, Redick has done his part to hold the regular season’s top 3-point marksman (no. 1 NBA 47.4 3fg%) to a combined 0 for 6 shooting on the perimeter.
“I think he’s really had an underdiscussed, undervalued to maybe the outside defensive role,” said Brett Brown.
The last time Harris went back-to-back games without a triple? Over two years ago, in January of 2017.
Redick’s commitment to chasing Harris around has been born out of appreciation. Before the Sixers practiced Friday afternoon in Lower Manhattan, Redick called Harris one of his “favorite players to watch.”
“Joe is a guy that I have tremendous amount of respect for,” said Redick. “I like how he plays. He’s tough, plays hard every night. There’s no B.S. to him. He’s out there to help his team and win basketball games.”
Last Saturday at The Center, Harris’ lethal long-range pedigree was on full display in the opener of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. The 2013 no. 33 pick went 3 for 4 from deep en route to finishing with 13 points on 5 for 7 shooting overall.
After that, the Sixers made some changes. They modified pick-and-roll coverages to keep Redick more on Harris, and less on the Nets’ crafty ‘live ball’ guys (Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert, D’Angelo Russell).
Redick, of course, has had help in trying to keep Harris off the 3-point line. Just as noteworthy as Harris coming up empty the last two games is that the Sixers have collectively limited his opportunities.
During the regular season, Harris took 6.1 3-pointers per 36 minutes (5.1 3fga / game). So far in the opening round, that number has dropped to 4.2 per 36 minutes (3.3 3fga / game).
For a shooter that good, reducing chances is a big part of the battle.
With Harris under wraps, the Sixers have taken some legit firepower away from Brooklyn’s attack. On this front, Redick has left his mark.
“He’s been great, he’s been physical, he’s been sort of stalking,” Brown said about Redick’s defense. “Joe Harris, he’s got a bounce, there’s a toughness to him, there’s an athleticism to him that’s a hard guard. That’s a hard person to guard.”
Redick has proven up to the challenge in two straight wins, and the Sixers have reaped the rewards.