Case in point – J.J. Redick. The 30-year-old Clippers shooting guard is enjoying his best statistical season of his career, despite an injury scare in February that made fans recall his history of back issues.
In addition to finally being healthy, playing in Los Angeles alongside Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan has freed up Redick with skilled bigs setting high screens and an All-NBA level playmaker at the point feeding the veteran sharpshooter behind the arc.
Redick is among elite company in terms of three-point shooting, with one specific nuance: catch-and-shoot. According to SportVU, his 605 catch-and-shoot points are second only to Kyle Korver, arguably the best active shooter in the game today.
Only five players have managed to drill at least two catch-and-shoot threes per game while also playing more than 30 minutes per game and making at least 40 percent of his catch-and-shoot three-point attempts this season, per SportVU. In addition to Redick, that group includes Korver, Klay Thompson, Eric Gordon and J.R. Smith (in Cleveland):
Redick hasn’t become such a threat from deep by just camping out in the corners and hoping his man sags off him. He’s constantly moving, weaving through pick-and-rolls and bouncing off defenders to find an open look, a big reason why he has logged an average of 3.6 miles per 48 minutes on the court this season, per SportVU.
Redick is shooting at a 43.6 percent clip from downtown this year, whereas the Clippers’ likely first round opponent, the Memphis Grizzlies, shoot just 34 percent from three compared to L.A.’s 37.6 percent clip.
It’s no coincidence that the preseason rejection of the “Lob City” nickname has been reflected in the fluidity of the Clippers’ offense, which is tops in the league in efficiency.
For one, Griffin has ventured out of the paint and established a credible mid-range game, and he has even hit on 10-of-25 three-point attempts.
The Clippers lead the league in pull-up shots from 10 feet or further, scoring 24 points per game on such shots, per SportVU.
Even though Redick is most deadly when he shoots without first taking a dribble, the Clippers as a whole have spread out their attack and made defenses respect outside shooters while also having to account for Griffin and Jordan down low.
And at 6-foot-4, Redick matches up well enough with Courtney Lee and can help himself defensively by exhausting his man at the other end by making Lee chase him around picks and forcing him to expend extra energy that’ll inhibit him at the offensive end.
Redick’s overall numbers aren’t the gaudiest, but with the Clippers peaking at the right time – winners of five in a row and 12 of their last 13 – he’ll help make L.A. a tough out if he continues to play at his current pace, which has him at a tick under 20 points per game since the All-Star break.