J.J. Redick is injured and the Los Angeles Clippers will need a lot of help.
With Redick out 6-8 weeks from a fracture in his right hand and a torn right ulnar collateral ligament, it will be up the depth of the Clippers’ bench. Remember all those comments about the improved bench and depth for the team? Well, that needs to be proven with Redick’s absence.
It would not be far-fetched to say Redick is the most important Clipper behind Chris Paul. His 15.8 point average was the least of his importance. According to ESPN.com Kevin Arnovitz, Redick leads the Clippers’ regulars in plus-minutes and has an 18.46 Player Efficiency Rating (PER) as a starter. He’s a lights-out shooter from distance (1.9 3Pt per game) and a sniper at the free-throw line (92.7) as well. Most importantly, Redick’s been the key cog in the entire motion offense.
“Almost every action we run had something to do with him moving,” Doc Rivers said.
He’s been the shot to Paul’s trigger. The attention Redick demands in the offense cannot be overstated. Without his movement in the offense, the Clippers will need contributions from a rebuilt bench of Reggie Bullock, Antawn Jamison, and Darren Collison.
The player that replaces Redick in the lineup is a familiar face. Willie Green, the same veteran shooting guard who replaced Chauncey Billups last season, will reprise his role for the injured Redick. His 15 minutes on the court will mean that defenses can converge in the paint and prevent Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan from operating in the post. It will mean more looks for Jared Dudley and Chris Paul and it should be a slower offense overall. The first game post-Redick injury was close. A 105-100 defeat from the Eastern Conference darling, Indiana Pacers, but the road will be difficult without Redick. If Jamal Crawford can continue to spark the Clippers’ reserves, the damage may be minimal.
Photo credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
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