J.J. Redick to Lose Starting Spot to Courtney Lee

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IMay 19, 2009

BOSTON - MAY 06:  J.J. Redick #7 of the Orlando Magic walks off the court after his sixth foul in the second half against the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on May 6, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.  Redick was ejected from the game. The Boston Celtics defeated the Orlando Magic 112-94. 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 Elsa/Getty Images)

Orlando Magic shooting guard, J.J. Redick, will find a comfortable spot back on the bench, after it was announced that coach Steve Van Gundy will opt for rookie Courtney Lee.

Lee was playing efficient basketball all season and against the 76ers in the first round, but was forced out of action due to a facial injury.

During his absence, Redick has carved a niche in the starting line-up, as he dropped in timely scoring, as well as under-valued defense

Ironically criticized for "less than ideal" athleticism and supposed "poor lateral quickness", Redick is actually a good defender.

While Lee is arguably the superior defender, it's also arguable that while Redick is already doing an admirable job on that side of the ball, he could also offer more on the offensive end than Lee, overall.

Van Gundy has stated in the past that when Redick is in the game, the offense "flows better", as Redick is better orchestrator than given credit for, and he also opens up the defense with his range.

But if you watch an ounce of college basketball four years ago, you already knew that.

Back to that defense. Defense? Redick?

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You bet.

In eight starts in the playoffs, Redick registered five steals and helped hold Ray Allen to games of 5, 8, 9, 12, and 13 points while only letting him reach past 20 (and under 25) twice.

Considering Allen dropped 51 points in the series before, it's safe to say that's an accomplishment.

And as for Redick's recent offensive struggles?

Well, it's obvious his shooting has gone extremely cold, and the line of thinking could be that he'd get back to form if he came off the bench.

After a fabulous start (as a starter), Redick topped 12 points in three straight games, but then came "crashing down to earth", with his recent five-games from hell.

Over that span, Redick has made more than one shot in a game only once, and hasn't topped five points.

However, while Redick's shooting has gone south, his play-making skills have progressed, and he's aided the offense in running fluidly by dishing out 16 assists (almost four per game).

Regardless of the reasoning of his benching, at least it's likely that he's still going to be in the rotation.

After all, if Orlando is going to have any chance of beating Cleveland, they'll need all the offense they can get.


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