LA Clippers need their sharpshooter in Blake Griffin’s absence

JJ Redick Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
JJ Redick Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Clippers need to adjust their offense without Blake Griffin, and elevating J.J. Redick’s role is essential to them finding success.

Word has been surging throughout all 30 NBA teams that Blake Griffin is expected to be out between four and six weeks after having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. It feels similar to the situation that the LA Clippers experienced last season, since Griffin had his surgery only five days before compared to his injury last year. However, the difference this season is that this surgery is less serious and more of a clean up procedure.

There’s also some positive news for the team during the time that Griffin is going to miss. The Clippers have a weak schedule in his absence, which definitely works in their favor. Basing the schedule on the six-week scale, Griffin will miss 20 games and would be slated to return around February 1. During this stretch, the Clippers only have six games against teams that have an over .500 record (including the Oklahoma City Thunder twice).

The Clippers are in very familiar territory to last season. Blake missing more than half the season allowed for many different players to shine and for the bench (albeit an adjusted one now) to mesh as a cohesive unit. Once again, the Clippers are provided this opportunity, at a cost, to revitalize their energy and rediscover the identity that they had established during their 14-2 start to the season.

One of the lone wolves that will help them in their quest is sharpshooter J.J. Redick.

Obviously, different players need to pick up the offensive slack that comes with Griffin being hurt and Chris Paul is going to contribute a significant amount when it comes to that. However, Redick is pretty adept at stepping up his contributions and aiding the team in success.

It has been two games since Griffin decided that having surgery is the best option in the long term. In this small amount of time, Redick has made sure to stay hot from deep. He has hit 10-of-13 from three in this small sample size, but this brief sample and increased attempts is still a positive sign.

More from Clipperholics

Last season, up until December 25th, Redick was averaging 15.1 points. This is roughly the amount that one would expect him to average these days. Then, Griffin went down and the Clippers needed their star shooter to help carry the load. In the 41 games, sans Griffin, Redick averaged 18.5 points during the long stretch.

Many of those who don’t watch Clippers games would say that three extra points is a minuscule contribution for a shooter. In terms of making up lost points for Blake Griffin, then I would agree. However, this isn’t the key factor to draw from. The most important thing to note about Redick’s play is the contributions that don’t show up on the box score.

Redick’s ability to stretch the floor, run off screens, confuse defenses, and still shoot at an elite rate are the most positive takeaways from his game. The off-ball contributions and his ability to set up others in space for easy baskets are what’s going to help the team most during this time.

Next: Clippers player grades from first third of the season

It worked last season, and the LA Clippers are once again are going to utilize the same formula in unleashing extra J.J. Redick, the sharpshooter.