Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Clippers
J.J. Redick just completed his first season with the Clippers. Or should we say half-season as he played in only 35 regular-season games because of a bulging disc in his back.
However, if there was one thing Redick showed was the ability to move extremely well without the ball, then hitting big-time jump-shots with a quick catch and release once he received it. He is the perfect complement to a team with superstars like Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and high-scoring sixth-man Jamal Crawford.
Redick, 29, shot a career-best 45.5 percent (181 of 398) from the field. Considering that nearly half of his shot attempts were from 3-point range, that is not too shabby at all; he shot a very solid 39.5 percent (73 of 185) from beyond the arc.
Once Redick came back April 3 after missing two months, the burning question to him was, “Will you end up having off-season surgery?” Redick didn’t know if that would
be the case. But it must be said that he was never pain-free once he came back, all the way through the Western Conference semifinals. He’s that courageous player all
coaches want, and Doc Rivers never made any bones about how much he liked Redick and his mettle.
If Redick is ready to go when spring training begins in about four months, there seemingly is no reason why he shouldn’t be right back in that starting lineup.
Redick is signed through the 2016-17 season. He is slated to make $6,792,500 in 2014-15.
As bummed out as the Clippers were following their Game 6 loss to Oklahoma City this past Thursday, ending their season in the Western Conference semifinals, they still had reason to take pride in what they did accomplish.
Take J.J. Redick, who the following day at the Clippers’ training facility in Playa Vista, expressed just that when reflecting on the 2013-14 campaign that saw the Clippers win a franchise-high 57 games during the regular season.
“I look back at the strides we made over the course of the season, and we are such a better team than the team that started in San Diego in training camp,” Redick said. “I’m looking forward to next year. … There are roster changes every year, but hopefully having our core group of guys back together because we really grew a lot as a team. The trust was starting to be cemented to a point where I thought we were a championship-level team.”
Blake Griffin played only 19 minutes and 14 seconds in the Clippers’ 109-105 loss to the Golden State Warriors in Saturday’s opener of their first-round Western Conference playoff series at Staples Center.
Griffin scored 16 points and grabbed three rebounds – well below his season averages – and his defense in the paint was missed, to be sure. That has to change, guard J.J. Redick said.
“I mean, he’s one of the best players in the NBA, so that was huge for us to not have him over half the game, really,” said Redick, who had a fine game with 22 points on 8 of 11 shooting. “We need him to stay on the court, we need him to play 40 minutes and be involved. He’s made such progress on both sides of the basketball, he’s such an important piece of what we do.”
With the playoffs fast approaching, the Clippers need all their horses if they are to make a long run. One of them – guard J.J. Redick – recently returned after missing two months with a bulging disc in his back.
Redick scored 12 points in Thursday’s loss to Dallas at Staples Center. He made 3 of 10 shots from the field. He scored 15 points in Sunday’s victory over the Lakers on 7 of 11 shooting. Best of all, he reported no setbacks.
“He looked good,” coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s still going a little too fast, tried to do too much a couple of times and turned the ball over. But other than that, he’s getting better.
“I think each time he plays, it’s good.”
Now if the Clippers (55-23) can only get Jamal Crawford (calf strain) back in the fold.
Next up, Oklahoma City on Wednesday at Staples Center. The Clippers are now only one game back of the Thunder in fight for the No. 2 spot in the Western Conference standings. But OKC (55-21) has six games left, the Clippers just four.
Coach Doc Rivers and the rest of the Clippers must be stoked about how well J.J. Redick is looking. After not having played for two months, he scored 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting in 24 minutes in his second game back. A bulging disc in Redick’s back has been the issue, but he did not look like someone with back issues Sunday. The Clippers really need him healthy for the playoffs.
- As good as that news is, there was still no Jamal Crawford, out for the fourth consecutive game because of an ongoing calf injury. Rivers told reporters before the game it would be a bummer if Crawford could not play again until the playoffs. But it’s looking like that is a real possibility.
- How about that game by Chris Paul. He scored 23 points and doled out six assists, which is actually lower than his average. But he made 8 of 10 from the field, including all four of his attempts from 3-point range.
- Blake Griffin had a fine game with 23 points on 7 of 14 shooting with seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. Interestingly, only one of his seven baskets came from any kind of distance, where most of misses came from. He hit one outside jumper and that was it. After missing three in a row at one juncture, his body language displayed a bit of frustration. But, hey, the good ones still find a way to have good games, which is what Griffin did.
- With this victory, by the end of Sunday night the Clippers had crawled to within a game of Oklahoma City in the Western Conference standings because of the Thunder’s loss to Phoenix. The Clippers (55-23) and OKC (55-21) square off Wednesday at staples Center. The Clippers have four games left, the Thunder six.
- Not to worry, Clippers fans, the law of averages says they absolutely must lose a game now and then. The Clippers had won 17 of their past 19 games, some in dramatic fashion. They can’t do it every night. Doesn’t work that way. Coach Doc Rivers said he wasn’t worried about it, and neither should the fans be concerned over one home loss. At 31-6, they still have one of the best home records in the league. That said, down 12 with three minutes left, the Clippers scared the heck out of Dallas by getting within two points with more than a minute left before the Mavericks escaped with the win.
- It was good to see guard J.J. Redick back playing exactly two months since he had last played Feb. 3, no thanks to a bulging disc in his back. Rivers said before the game he’d play Redick about 20 minutes or so, and Redick played 24 minutes and scored 12 points. He made just 3 of 10 from the field, but that’s to be expected after so much time off. He appeared healthy, which is the best thing of all.
- Blake Griffin has become a terrific passer. He had 11 assists in the game, a number more expected of Chris Paul, who had nine. The recipient of some of Griffin’s assists was DeAndre Jordan, who said thank you very much and slammed a few home.
- It’s a bummer that Jamal Crawford missed his third consecutive game because of that pesky injured calf. He was seen before the game and though he wasn’t noticeably limping, he didn’t seem to be walking with confidence, either. The Clippers will really need him for the playoffs because you don’t just replace 18.6 points per game, Crawford’s average.
- The worst thing a coach can do is play the diplomat after a loss because that doesn’t help his players a bit. Rivers said in the post-game news conference that his team played poorly on defense. And he’s right. There were way too many open looks, thus the Mavericks’ 48.3 percentage (14 of 29) from 3-point range. Right there is where the game was decided. The Clippers made just 6 of 27 from beyond the arc for 22.7 percent.
Next up, the Lakers on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.
Guard J.J. Redick has missed the past 18 Clippers games because of a bulging disc in his lower back. He began practicing again Thursday and was back at it Friday at the team’s facility in Playa Vista. He is obviously not happy with being out so long, but he seems to see a light at the end of the tunnel.
He was asked Friday how it went Thursday.
“I definitely wasn’t disappointed,” he said. “A good step forward. I will probably just continue to get back in shape, but also managing the injury. There still needs to be a little more improvement. And it’s kind of a day-to-day thing. Some days are better than others.”
Redick said he would like to think he could play in Saturday’s game against Detroit at Staples Center, “but that’s not realistic.”
He’s not sure exactly what to think.
“A few weeks ago I kind of just relinquished the control aspect of it,” he said. “You want to control things, you want to say, ‘Oh, I’ll be back this day or that day.’ But this injury is weird and it’s been frustrating. My main thing concern is just long-term health and get my stuff right.”
Redick said the pain is minimal at this point, but he still has nerve issues that affect his right leg.
He was asked where he needs to be before he can play.
“When I can dunk, I’ll play,” he said. “I need to feel like I have my strength and endurance that way.”
Redick is averaging 15.7 points in 30 games.
J.J. Redick has been an important part of the Clippers this season, but staying healthy has been an issue for the guard out of Duke. He has missed 39 of his team’s 69 games, including the past 18 with a bulging disc in his lower back.
Coach Doc Rivers said before practice Thursday at the team’s facility in Playa Vista that he just isn’t sure when Redick will return to action.
“If J.J. comes back tomorrow, we’re good,” Rivers said. “If J.J. comes back in three weeks, we’re good. If J.J. comes back in eight weeks and we’re still alive, we’re good. So I don’t
think there is a timetable.”
Redick has averaged 15.7 points and 2.2 assists in the 30 games in which he’s played.
The Clippers deserve some rest and relaxation the way they have been playing of late. Ahead of Monday’s 10-point loss at Denver, they had won 11 consecutive games, a streak that started with a 125-117 victory at Oklahoma City on Feb. 23.
The Clippers have Tuesday and Wednesday completely off, return to practice Thursday morning but don’t play another game until Saturday when they host Detroit at 7:30 p.m. (on Prime Ticket)
Forward Blake Griffin, for one, is stoked about the break that comes with 13 games left in the regular season.
“I’m looking forward to (the time off), for sure,” Griffin told Clippers.com reporter Eric Patten. “Especially with all the guys we have banged up, getting guys healthy and getting D.C. back and hopefully Jamal and J.J. making improvements. The four days will definitely give us some much-needed rest.”
Clippers guards Darren Collision, Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick are all injured or sick. Redick has missed about six weeks with a bulging disc in his back, Collison has missed the past two games with a stomach virus and Crawford has not played in eight of the past nine games because of a strained left calf.