It starts with about 10 minutes to go in warmups before each game.
J.J. Redick commences a series of stretching movements designed to prepare him for all the running he's about to do. One minute before tipoff, the Clippers' shooting guard takes nine or 10 shots in rapid-fire succession, with teammate Ekpe Udoh serving as his personal rebounder.
At this point, the game can't start soon enough.
"There's no way I'm not ready," Redick said.
The payoff comes almost immediately, Redick's preparation leading to prolific first quarters in almost every game. He is averaging 6.5 points per game in first quarters this season, far outpacing his next-most-productive quarter (4.2 points in the third).
Redick scored 13 of his 20 points in the first quarter Wednesday during the Clippers' 99-78 victory over the New York Knicks, his latest quick flourish helping teammates feel out the game's early going while he provided the bulk of the offense.
"Man, it's great," point guard Chris Paul said. "Actually, you start to rely on it too much in that he gives everybody an opportunity to sort of get into the game because he starts off the game, he has it going and he finds it."
Redick's success in first quarters is largely a function of his constant movement shaking defenders and coming off screens. It might not seem that fast, but his average speed on the court is 4.5 mph, tied for fourth in the NBA.
"He wants to move," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said. "He knows it's a weapon even if he's not scoring, that you have to chase him. It's tiring, it irritates [people]. . . . It's like with little kids sometimes — you want them to sit still and he just won't listen."
Redick is also averaging 1.2 three-pointers made in first quarters compared to 0.8 in third quarters and 0.3 in second and fourth quarters.
He credited Udoh with an assist for his hot starts. The reserve forward jokingly started rebounding for Redick as if he were a personal assistant prior to a game last month and Redick went on to play well. Then they did it again the next game.
"At some point in the next few weeks," Redick recalled, "I went up to him and was like, 'Hey man, you doing that is really important to me.'"
Redick just completed his best month of the season, averaging 17.8 points while making 49.1% of his three-pointers in December.
Blake Griffin and Paul maintained their previous spots in the second All-Star fan voting figures released, with Griffin second among Western Conference frontcourt players and Paul fourth among backcourt players.
Griffin had 403,415 votes, trailing only New Orleans' Anthony Davis (732,154). Paul had 334,544 votes, behind Golden State's Stephen Curry (755,486), the Lakers' Kobe Bryant (694,665) and Houston's James Harden (516,514).
Clippers center DeAndre Jordan remained in 12th place among frontcourt players with 58,200 votes.
The top two guards and top three frontcourt players in fan voting will be starters for the All-Star game Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The Clippers did not practice Thursday but are scheduled to hold their first official session since Dec. 5 on Friday.
Times staff writer Melissa Rohlin contributed to this report.