Clippers Fall To Spurs In Game 2: The 5 Things We Learned

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J.J. Redick was a weakness on defense at times

February 19, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard J.J. Redick (4) moves the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

J.J. Redick is an extremely valuable player to the Clippers and he’s just finished his best season yet, setting career highs in points per game (16.4), field goal percentage (47.7) and three-point percentage (43.7). His constant movement on offense is troublesome for any defense to handle, and his ever changing positioning around the perimeter and cutting around screens has been his best method of getting good looks from behind the arc.

In Game 2 he made 4 threes, including a couple during the fourth quarter and overtime. However, there were a few instances where Redick seemed to lose track of his man on defense and his lack of awareness — at times — cost the Clippers.

Patty Mills came through as a one of the Spurs’ most important players in Game 2, with some of his biggest shots coming courtesy of Redick.

Mills had 18 points off the bench, including the pair of free throws that tied to the game with 8 seconds left to send it to overtime. Which, even though this can’t all be put on one player, Redick should still have been more aware of Mills breaking away down court before the Clippers were forced to foul him to prevent an easy layup (especially as Redick had guarded him for a lot of the game).

Even at the end of the third quarter, Redick was caught drifting into the paint and Mills added two more easy three-pointers, including one with just under three seconds till the buzzer. Regardless of whether or not these were the final decisive seconds of the game, this is still the playoffs — every basket counts and it gave the Spurs a three-point lead heading into the fourth.

To make matters worse for Redick, he flew to the floor after a smooth fake and turnaround jumper from Kawhi Leonard.

If you want to see it again, don’t worry, it’s coming up soon.

Whilst Redick may still be a decent perimeter defender (the Clippers’ defensive rating was three points better when he was on the floor this season) and he adds a great deal due to his three-point shooting, he was, at times, a defensive liability in Game 2. In order to prevent any unnecessary open shots for San Antonio, he’ll need to be particularly aware of his man’s movements and guys like Patty Mills tonight, especially when Redick hardly does much as a rebounder by moving away from the perimeter, whilst DeAndre Jordan has everything covered anyway.