Nelson Injury Could Mean Opportunity for RedickJ.J. Redick might be one of the league's leading three-point shooters. But his playing time has been limited -- mostly due to the composition of the Orlando Magic.
It would seem the ideal role for Redick would be as the designated outside threat on a team that runs its offense through a wing player -- like the Heat with Dwyane Wade, the Lakers with Kobe Bryant, the Cavs with LeBron James, or the Rockets with Tracy McGrady (when healthy). The Magic, on the other hand, were committed to a small-ish point guard in Jameer Nelson -- and this year, at least -- Nelson has been playing at an all-star level. Nelson's presence made it hard for Redick to get minutes; a defense-first coach like Stan Van Gundy isn't going to play a small-ish, slow-ish two alongside a 6'0" one.
But Nelson's injury changes all that.
With Nelson sidelined due to a separated shoulder, the Magic will likely go back to running much of their offense through Hedo Turkoglu. With Turkoglu running the offense, there isn't as much need for a pass-first point guard on the floor... which means Orlando can play extended stretches with Redick as the nominal point, a Mickael Pietrus or Courtney Lee at the two, and Turkoglu, Rashard Lewis and Dwight Howard in the frontcourt. That gives the Magic pretty good size in the backcourt, with the 6'4" Redick alongside the 6'6" Pietrus or 6'5" Lee... more importantly, it gives them outstanding shooters at the one and four spots -- which would make it near-impossible for teams to collapse on Howard when he gets the ball down low.
Redick is just two percent owned right now... if you have an open roster spot, he's well worth the look.
Today's trade that brings Tyronn Lue to Orlando doesn't change that -- Lue is an insurance policy, and shouldn't take minutes from Redick or Anthony Johnson.