Redick finds himself under those conditions because the Utah Jazz have made a concerted effort to contain the Clippers’ shooting guard in the first two games of the first-round Western Conference playoff series that’s knotted at 1-1.
“Sometimes in certain games and series, you have to give yourself up to get the team stuff,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said before his team practiced Thursday morning. “J.J. has been terrific with that. He’s going to get his shot eventually.”
The tenor of the game could change for Redick when the Clippers meet the Jazz in Game 3 on Friday night in Salt Lake City. Or maybe the Jazz will continue to hound Redick all over the court in an attempt to limit his effectiveness as the Clippers’ top outside threat.
Whatever the case may be, it’ll require Redick to stay the course throughout this best-of-seven series that has shifted the home-court advantage in favor of the Jazz.
“He just has to stay patient,” Rivers said. “I thought in Game 2, he created points for us. You have to make a choice with J.J.
“They’re trying to block him and almost box and one him. So when guys are rolling, nobody’s bumping [our big men]. Now our guards have to go downhill to create havoc. I thought we did that a lot. I thought J.J. also set a lot of picks. That’s good. That’s what you have to do.”
In Game 2, Redick squeezed off just seven shots, netting two for four points.
In Game 1, he took just six shots, making three for seven points.
Overall in the series, Redick has made 38.5% of his shots, 20.0% of his three-pointers (one for five).
His teammates understand the constraints Redick is under, but they still see benefits for the rest of the team when Redick continues to run the court and force the Jazz to stay aware of him.
“He still always helps,” point guard Chris Paul said. “You see probably the dunks and open shots we get because they don’t want to help off him. It’s a team game, man. Like, the one thing about J.J., I know he’s ready. He’s going to stay ready. Doc talks about it all the time, about giving yourself up to the team and sacrificing and doing whatever. As long as we win, it’s all good.”
The Clippers will look to get Redick more involved by setting screens and trying to get him open looks in transition.
But because Redick is so in tuned to what’s best for the Clippers, they don’t worry about him forcing things.
“The good thing about J.J., especially even last game, he’s letting it come to him,” Paul said. “I’m not conscious of how many shots people are getting during the game. At the end of the day, it’s about winning the game.”
There was a moment during Game 2 when Redick got frustrated. But it wasn’t because his offense didn’t flourish. He was being called for foul after foul.
Forward Blake Griffin had to put his arm around Redick at one point to calm him down.
When asked if it worked, Griffin smiled and said, “I tried.”
Redick finished the game with five fouls.
“J.J., he gets frustrated like everybody else,” Griffin continued. “I thought he was doing a phenomenal job defensively and he always gives 100% effort. There were a couple of times where he thought [the fouls] were questionable. But I was just telling him to, ‘Stay in the game. Stay focused. Like, leave that alone and move on. They’ll give us the next one.’
“I don’t know how much his offense is carrying over to his defense, but J.J. is the least of my worries.”