The Los Angeles Clippers will need all their weapons lined up come playoff time. Of course, Lob City appears to be very powerful this season and most ready than ever to contend for the Larry O’Brien trophy. Although there are some true powerhouses in the West, which the Clips will have to try hard to top, I strongly believe that if Head Coach Doc Rivers has all pieces available, this will be the Clips’ year.
Talking about pieces of the puzzle and their availability, one of the Clippers’ newcomers this season, shooting guard J.J. Redick just returned to action, after missing a big chunk of the season due to an abdominal injury. Redick returned to action on Thursday, April 4, in a game against the Dallas Mavericks, after missing 36 games this season. Of course, Redick was rusty during his first couple of games, following his comeback. Especially in Thursday’s game against the Mavs, when he played for 24 games, he finished with 12 points, going three for 10 from the floor and two for six from beyond the arc. This was an uncharacteristic output for the 29 – year old guard.
However, Redick made sure he bounced back in the Clippers’ next game. Playing again for 24 minutes during the Clips’ battle against the (former) city-rivals, Los Angeles Lakers, he shot 63.3 percent from the field and a little over than 33 percent from three-point range. Redick finished with 15 points and three rebounds but this wasn’t the most aspect of his game. What was most significant is that he showed positive signs, sings that Doc Rivers but also the entire Clipper Nation was able to see.There are five more games left till the end of the regular season, in which J.J. Redick will have to find his rhythm and pace. If he manages to return to a level close to the one he was prior to his injury, he will certainly be a big factor for the Clippers during the playoffs. After all, the sharpshooter is fourth leading scorer for LA this season, putting up 15.5 points per contest. He is also one of the best shooters the team has, from mid and long range.
But if you look closer at the way the team is playing, you’ll realize that Redick’s contribution goes above and beyond just shooting. In fact, thanks to his lethal shooting ability, defense always has to pay close attention to him. That gives more space to CP3 and Blake Griffin to operate and work their magic. And that makes the team much more dangerous.
Hopefully, Redick will retain a high level of performance during the postseason and hopefully Doc Rivers will have all his players available, right from Game 1 of the first round. After all, the competition level is extremely high in the West this season and not even the first-round matchup won’t be easy. Chris M.
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