For J.J. Redick, There's No Time Like the Present

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IMay 6, 2009

DENVER - JANUARY 17:  J.J. Redick #7 of the Orlando Magic observes the national anthem prior to facing the Denver Nuggets during NBA action at the Pepsi Center on January 17, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Magic defeated the Nuggets 106-88. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

By this time, we all know about the injury to Courtney Lee, and that he's out for at least two more games, and possibly the entire series with Boston.

We also know that J.J. Redick filled in admirably for him in Orlando's Game Six win, with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting.

In the first round against Boston, he added to his weak NBA legend, by scoring 12 points, including four clutch free throws to seal the victory.

However, what we don't know is whether Redick will be a difference-maker in this series, or if we've already seen our version of "as good as it gets" with the former Duke star.

While it's easy to assume the latter, I prefer optimism in this situation.

Both Dwight Howard and coach Stan Van Gundy have stated that Redick being on the floor has become crucial for an efficient offense.

While Redick isn't always the best option on defense or a slower, half-court offense, his presence is definitely felt when he's in the gaGe.

It's a given that he adds an extra offensive threat, bringing post defenders out from the paint. He also has great court awareness, and is an exceptional locater and passer in the open court.

If you caught him on a fast break, you'd be pleasantly surprised at what you see.

Still, regardless of his offensive abilities, there's always that knock on his defense.

Well, he spent most of his time on the court covering either Paul Pierce or Ray Allen, and judging by the stats, he's the next Bruce Bowen.

While that's quite the outlandish statement, it's not as ridiculous when you check the box score. Ray Allen finished game one with just nine points, and going 2-of-12 from the field. Pierce didn't do any better. He went an average 7-of-18, while rounding out with the game high of 23.

It's unlikely that Redick can keep up with these seasoned veterans in every game, but even half of his latest intensity and effort would certainly help.

When Courtney Lee does return to health and come back in these playoffs, the Magic will be feeling good about their depth at guard going forward.

Because as it stands, they have the makings of a true playoff gem.

And, if Redick can keep the miracle flame burning, he might play himself into a 2010 starting role.


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