Great point guards have historically thrived when they are surrounded by big men who can score and perimeter shooters. Chris Paul already had Blake Griffin, and now he has a lethal shooter in the backcourt with him in J.J. Redick.
Paul obviously is at his best when running pick-and-roll sets. He can pressure the defense coming off screens, can hit his patented jumper from the elbow and has the vision and passing skills to nail Griffin with a pinpoint pass as he rolls to the rim.
The one thing Paul has been missing since becoming a Los Angeles Clipper is a deadly threat to space the weak side of the floor. Redick does that as well as anyone in the league.
In the video above, Redick shows his off-the-ball movement skills on three different plays. In all three plays, Jameer Nelson comes down the floor and attacks off a strong side screen and pop. Redick is able to use the penetration to his advantage as he sets up his defender on backside and baseline screens.
Imagine the—thanks to all the highlight reel dunks—very familiar Paul and Griffin pick-and-roll. Paul attacks the elbow, Griffin rolls to the basket, but now DeAndre Jordan steps out of the paint and sets a back screen on Redick’s defender, leaving him wide open for a catch-and-shoot three.
There will be plenty of that action this season.
Redick’s ability to knockdown shots from three, despite not being square, is a valuable trait. Good shooters can quickly square up and launch a balanced shot. Redick does that just as well as anyone, but his ability to make shots while on the move is extremely valuable.
Additionally, Redick can also provide ball handling support for Chris Paul.
In this next video we can see how Redick has developed his handles in an effort to expand his game. He is now capable of attacking off the dribble, which makes him a very difficult cover, especially when a defense must shift off Chris Paul and load up on the side Redick is attacking from.
The Clippers had a similar option two seasons ago when Chauncey Billups was healthy. His spot-up shooting and ability to attack from the opposite side of the floor was a nightmare for teams to defend.
Redick will have plenty of opportunities, much like in the video above, to have the ball swung to the weak side and attack off pick-and-rolls with Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. Furthermore, he has improved his passing ability, as evidenced by his assisting on a career-high 20 percent of his team’s field-goals while on the floor last season, according to basketball reference.
Shifting back to Chris Paul, any additional floor spacing would greatly benefit the star point guard. However, as mentioned above, Redick also brings ball-handling relief. This was something the team has missed in the starting five over the last two seasons.
Management signed Jamal Crawford last season to help with the ball handling duties, but he is much better leading the second unit and attacking at his own pace. Redick, meanwhile, fits perfectly into the starting five and allows Paul the structure to swing the ball and not have to chase it down, in order to initiate an end of the shot clock attack.
Finally, Redick’s solid defensive capabilities make this a perfect backcourt match. Paul consistently leads the league in steals, but Redick has proved over the past few years that he is a solid defender, at the very least, and is not a liability one-on-one.
Doc Rivers’ system should fit quite well with what Paul wants to do, as far as ball pressure and Redick’s ability to be a solid team defender. Redick’s ability to react and rotate off Rivers’ overloaded defensive sets will be ideal.
Overall, the backcourt duo of Chris Paul and J.J. Redick is definitely the best either has been a part of. Paul provides the floor direction and play making ability, while Redick allows the floor to be spaced and will consistently drill kick-out threes.
Los Angeles Clipper fans should quite enjoy the duo’s presence on the floor together.
Unlike opposing defenses.
They will fear it.