Clippers news: Doc Rivers ‘optimistic’ J.J. Redick will play Monday


Some positive Los Angeles Clippers news: Doc Rivers is ‘optimistic’ that J.J. Redick will return from injury and play Monday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Jamal Crawford may have suddenly exploded for 32 points on an uncharacteristic 52.6 percent shooting in the Los Angeles Clippers’ 101-103 win over the Orlando Magic, but the return of J.J. Redick is still highly anticipated by the team and its fans alike. His off-ball movement and fit with the offense is just too good for the team to go without him over a long period, especially while Doc Rivers’ poor rotations continue to an even greater extent in his absence. Now, there is some good Clippers news to encourage fans.

According to Doc, there’s a good chance of Redick returning on Monday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves to restore some order, especially as he tried to persuade others that he was able to play on Saturday against the Magic. Rowan Kavner of has reported the following:

"“Don’t know if I’m as optimistic with Chris,” Rivers said Saturday. “With J.J., I’m a little more optimistic. He even tried to kind of talk guys into letting him play (Saturday)… If he feels that way, then hopefully by next game J.J. will be available.”"

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As Doc said, the Clippers can’t be as optimistic about the return of Chris Paul. With his rib injury, he will likely be out longer than Redick who is only recovering from a right ankle sprain that he suffered last week against the Indiana Pacers.

So, as for those rotations, they are still as puzzling as ever. Even though Redick is out which takes away the Clippers’ starting shooting guard and top perimeter marksman, the excessive use of Crawford and Paul Pierce has still been a major issue. Both their poor shooting and terrible defense has been hurting the team, yet they still receive more valuable minutes than other acquisitions made this summer.

As our writer Jeff Nisius discussed so well in his recent column, the combo of Crawford and Pierce has done nothing but harm the Clippers:

"Having watched plenty of tape of his (Crawford’s) defense, the issue is that he routinely gets lost defending the perimeter. He misses rotations or is forced to scramble at shooters, giving them more than enough space to knock down open jumpers from the perimeter.While those number are depressing, the next seal deal on the debate. Out of 90 qualified shooting guards, Crawford ranks 86th with a -4.38 real plus-minus and ranks 88th with a -2.96 defensive RPM…Defensively, Pierce looks like the team’s worst defender. In fact, the Clippers are 6.9 points better defensively with him on the bench and he ranks 60th out of 70 qualified small forwards with a -2.36 RPM.No matter if he is defending small forwards or power forwards, he has been outmatched. He doesn’t have the quickness to defend on the perimeter and has been abused in the paint. According to, Pierce is allowing opponents to shoot 76.3 percent inside six feet. To put that in perspective, that is 16.2 points above average…The logical thing to do would be to separate your two worst rotation players by staggering their minutes together, right?Crawford and Pierce have played together the 10th most minutes out of 61 different two-man permutations. Together they have posted a net rating of -8.2, with a pathetic offensive rating of 98.3 and a defensive rating of 106.5."

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You should go ahead and read the full column here, as Nisius explains exactly why Crawford and Pierce need to be broken up and other guys like Lance Stephenson and Wesley Johnson need more minutes. When, or if, Doc finally realises that, the Clippers will be in better shape on both offense and defense. And when Redick makes his return, his 13.4 points per game and career-high 45.7 percent three point shooting will be more than welcome.