Back in July, when I heard that JJ Redick was heading to the Los Angeles Clippers, I had two thoughts.
The first thought, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone on this, was ‘uh oh’.
Out in Los Angeles resides Chris Paul, who, despite reaching levels of achievement and stardom in the NBA that Redick never will, has remained his biggest enemy, a rivalry that extends back to their college days, where they were fierce competitors while Redick was at Duke and Paul at Wake Forest. Thoughts of locker room and chemistry issues danced in my head, and the thought of the two being teammates was just unbelievably odd to me.
It didn’t take long before this was addressed, however, as both men came out and said they were doing their best to get on the same page as one another, including the burying of the proverbial hatchet.
This leads me to my second thought, which was that if the two could learn how to play together, the combo could be pretty dangerous for Los Angeles. Paul was the perfect candidate to bring out the best in Redick’s catch-and-shoot ability, and his natural fit into the Clippers’ system was obvious.
So far, so good.
While he is only nine games into his career as a Clipper, Redick currently boasts career-highs in PER (18.51), FG%, PPG, RPG, and SPG, along with being on track for a Win Share total in the 8.1 to 8.3 range, which would shatter his previous career-high of 6.5 set in the ’09-’10 season.
Season Age Tm Lg Pos G MP FG% 3P% 2P% FT% TRB AST STL PF PTS 2013-14 29 LAC NBA SG 9 29.6 .467 .360 .561 .964 2.7 2.4 0.9 2.9 16.1
Obviously, these are small sizes that will even out over the course of the year, but it is impossible to ignore how perfect of a fit Redick has been for the Clippers thus far.
With Blake Griffin, Jordan Crawford, and Paul all being legitimate scoring options, Redick hasn’t been as relied upon as much as he was last year with a depleted Orlando Magic squad and razor-thin Milwaukee Bucks team. The Clippers also run a very spread-out, frequently-moving offense that allows plenty of opportunity to open up catch-and-shoot opportunities for Redick.
And of course, players like Chris Paul seem to elevate the game of everyone around them. Paul is by far the best pure point guard Redick has ever played with, and both guards have been reaping the benefits of the pairing.
Defensively, Redick has had his ups and downs, but he has always been a fairly decent defender and I don’t see that changing moving forward. Andrew Han of Clipperblog.com took a pretty cool look at the situation, asking whether the guard may be the glue that holds Los Angeles’s defense together.
Just like with Miles Plumlee’s success out in Phoenix, we’re going to need a lot more season to go by before we can come to any definitive conclusions, but it certainly appears Redick has found himself a comfortable situation.