Clippers beat Bucks, J.J. Redick finds killer shooting stroke


The Los Angeles Clippers have finally started stringing some wins together, and the deadly shooting of J.J. Redick to score 31 points led them past the Milwaukee Bucks 109-95.

The Los Angeles Clippers have now won six of their last seven games, and last night it was J.J. Redick who was fundamental in continuing that spell. As they took down the Milwaukee Bucks on the road 109-95, Redick went off for the kind of game he was due for. With 31 points he came just one basket shy of tying his career-high, and he spurred the Clippers towards a 42.9 percent shooting night from three point range.

The Clippers went down by 11 half way through the second quarter, and it wasn’t until just before the end of the first half that they cut the Bucks’ lead down to a single point. When they started to take off at the start of the third quarter, it was Redick leading the way.

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He knocked down a couple of shots from deep within the first few minutes of the period, and reached five made threes and 20 points with seven minutes to go in the third. He finished with a total of 15 points in that quarter alone. From his usual tireless off-ball movement, ducking in and out of screens, and making the most of the attention given to Blake Griffin inside (21 points, 14 rebounds on the night), Redick was able to find space and heat up in a hurry.

It was the third quarter where the Clippers really hit their rhythm. Chris Paul was managing the team perfectly in the second half and found man after man to keep the ball moving, found players in transition, and drew attention well on drives before kicking the ball out. He finished the night with a season-high 18 assists, and unsurprisingly led all players with a +/- of +25.

Add on the fact that the Clippers actually won the rebound battle (51-40) and had stellar play from their frontcourt with a total of 30 points and 33 rebounds from Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, it was a well rounded performance to earn a three game win streak.

With J.J. back in the lineup and shooting like this, it just gives the offense a different dynamic. He finished the night 11-of-18 from the floor and went 6-of-9 from three.

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Redick’s impact this season is needed more than ever. Jamal Crawford may have had a couple of 30-point games, but he’s been shooting just 36.9 percent from the floor and wasn’t a consistent option while Redick was out with back and ankle problems. When you add Paul Pierce into the mix, who’s been shooting 29.7 percent from the floor and 24.2 from three, not to mention his terrible defense, Redick is needed to balance the rotation and take over more than others.

With Redick on the floor this season, the Clippers’ offense scores a ridiculous average of 11.8 more points per 100 possessions than when he’s on the bench. That’s just what his movement and level of efficiency can do. Whether he’s setting up from the corner or coming off a tight screen on the perimeter and has to shoot while turning in mid-air, he can bury shots from all over the court.

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In comparison to players like Crawford and Pierce, the Clippers’ offensive rating drops when they’re in the game. With Pierce, matters are even worse as they score 5 fewer points per 100 possessions while allowing opponents to score 7.1 more, too.

Thankfully for the Clippers and their frustrated fans, Doc Rivers only used Pierce for just under six minutes against the Bucks and didn’t play him in the second half. While Crawford only received 21 minutes, Redick stepped up by playing 33 and it seriously paid off.

Besides Redick’s shooting, improved minute management and rotations from Doc was important on Wednesday night. It still needs to get far better, though. Players like Wesley Johnson, Lance Stephenson and Austin Rivers area all deserving of more time, and should not be losing out to Crawford and Pierce who have been so detrimental to the team.

If Doc wants to keep winning, this is something he must get right.