CLIPPERS

J.J. Redick raises his game while giving Clippers foes the runaround

The online parody shows a player pretending to be J.J. Redick running in his usual semicircle around the perimeter on an outdoor court.

Only he doesn't stop there.

The player races up a hill before sliding back down and continuing his trajectory, his arms raised and hands ready to receive the ball.

The skit called "Los Angeles Clippers Be Like …" has been viewed more than half a million times on YouTube. It has also made the rounds among the players it's intended to tease, including the Clippers shooting guard.

"Yeah, I saw that," Redick said. "Pretty accurate."

Redick's constant motion has become a thing even outside NBA circles. It frees the league's most accurate three-point shooter this season for nights like Monday, when he scored a career-high 40 points against the Houston Rockets, and tends to exhaust the players who must constantly chase him, leading to some of their worst offensive performances.

"If you're guarding J.J. for 40 minutes," Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said, "your offense is not going to be the same, I just think, unless you're in better shape than J.J., which I don't know if that guy actually lives."

Redick's running game has helped the Clippers go 10-1 without All-Star forward Blake Griffin, who the team hopes will return from his quadriceps injury during a five-game trip that starts Thursday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Cleveland's J.R. Smith shouldn't feel bad if he has an off night against the Clippers. Just check the statistics of Redick's other recent counterparts: Houston's James Harden made five of 12 shots, New Orleans' Eric Gordon made three of 10, Charlotte's P.J. Hairston made two of nine and the Lakers' Lou Williams made one of five — all in losses to the Clippers.

The pattern explains why Redick ranks third in the NBA among qualifying players in fewest points allowed per possession, giving up .690. Only Cleveland's LeBron James (.618) and San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge (.684) are stingier.

Redick said his style of play resulted from studying footage of legendary sharpshooters Ray Allen, Reggie Miller and Richard Hamilton to learn their movement patterns. Then Redick had to practice it to the point of tedium in a gym.

"It's something that I felt like for me to be a good player I had to develop," said Redick, 31, who's in the midst of his 10th NBA season.

Former Orlando Magic sharpshooter Dennis Scott, who led the league in three-pointers during the 1995-96 season, said he would put Redick in the upper echelon of shooters because of his versatility.

"He has the movement like Ray Allen does, but he can stand still and shoot the spot-up three as well, so I think having that flexibility and having that talent to do both is what makes him so valuable," said Scott, now an analyst for NBA TV. "Hands down, he's one of the best shooters we've seen in the NBA because of that stroke."

Redick runs more than a mile on offense every game, according to the NBA's SportVU data, giving him the space that creates open shots. Rivers said the wiry Redick may run at a faster pace than Allen, his former Boston Celtics star who didn't need as much room to shoot because of Allen's superior size.

Redick has put himself in the running for a special season. He's averaging a career-high 16.6 points while nearly being on pace to become the eighth member of the 40-50-90 club by making at least 40% of his three-pointers, 50% of his field goals and 90% of his free throws.

Actually, Redick doesn't want to stop there. Why would he? He's made 48.9% of his field goals, 50% of his three-pointers and 89.5% of his free throws.

"What about 50-50-90?" Redick recently asked reporters. "Has that been done?"

Sort of. Steve Kerr reached those thresholds with the Chicago Bulls during the 1995-96 season but did not attempt enough field goals or free throws to qualify.

Redick said he doesn't think it's odd he's shooting a higher percentage on three-pointers than two-pointers, because he doesn't get many layups, meaning that most of his two-point attempts are long jumpers. He's on target to easily eclipse the Clippers' single-season record for three-point accuracy (46.6%), set by Eric Piatkowski in 2001-02.

Sometimes it can seem as if all of Redick's running leads nowhere, much to the amusement of the Clippers' coaching staff.

"J.J. runs in circles sometimes for no apparent reason when you're watching the film," Rivers said. "It's the truth. We've seen him do like three circles that had nothing to do with the play and the guy is following him around."

The guy following him is also likely getting tired. Redick? He would probably keep running up a hill if he could.

Up next

CLIPPERS AT CLEVELAND

When: 5 p.m. PST Thursday.

Where: Quicken Loans Arena.

On the air: TV: TNT; Radio: 980, 1330.

Records: Clippers 27-14, Cavaliers 29-11.

Record vs. Cavaliers (2014-15): 0-2.

Update: Cleveland will be eager to have a better showing than its last game on its home court, a 132-98 drubbing by the Golden State Warriors on Monday in which Cavaliers stars LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving made a combined 11 of 32 shots. It was the Cavaliers' second home loss of the season. The Clippers have won their last six road games, sweeping a five-game trip last month for the first time in franchise history.

Follow Ben Bolch on Twitter @latbbolch

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on January 21, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Man in motion - J.J. Redick's constant running frees him to take aim at the basket and tends to wear out opponents pursuing him" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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