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J.J. Redick: One of the last underrated players?

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A true underrated player is hard to find in the NBA anymore. When Michael Lewis called Shane Battier a no-stats all-star the sophistication of public analytics trailed today’s. Now Draymond Green’s defense and spacing combination is appreciated as having top 20 player in the NBA value. DeMarre Caroll and Danny Green are marquee free agents.

My pick for one of the last underrated types of players is J.J. Redick. Redick misses the buzz of Draymond Green, Carroll or Danny Green from missing the D in “3 and D”. +/- stats suggest Redick is average, not poor on defense, but the point stands. His physical tools limit him on that end.

But Redick is not them on offense either. Here are key stats for those four players in 2014-2015:

J.J. Redick:

16.4 points per game, 30.9 minutes per game (19.1 points per 36 minutes)

43.7% from 3, 5.9 attempts a game

.622 TS%, 118 ORTG

Draymond Green

11.7 points per game, 31.5 minutes per game (12.4 points per 36 minutes)

33.7% from 3, 4.2 attempts a game

.540 TS%, 108 ORTG

Danny Green

11.7 points per game, 28.5 minutes per game (14.7 points per 36 minutes)

41.8% from 3, 5.6 attempts a game

.596 TS%, 114 ORTG

DeMarre Carroll

12.6 points per game, 31.3 minutes per game (14.5 points per 36 minutes)

39.5% from 3, 4.3 attempts a game

Redick’s scoring rate per minute is in a different tier than the rest. Here are some of the players he scored more points per minute than last year: Jimmy Butler, Kyle Lowry, Jeff Teague, Brandon Knight, Paul Millsap, Zach Randolph, Eric Bledsoe, John Wall, Tyreke Evans, Kevin Love, Goran Dragic, Andrew Wiggins, Michael Carter-Williams. These are players known for volume scoring and creating their own shot far more than Redick is. This evidence along with less than half of Redick’s points coming from 3, shows the other layers in his game last year.

Draymond Green, Danny Green and DeMarre Carroll are rated more valuable offensively than their scoring statistics because of stretching the floor by bringing defenders out out of the paint. The same goes for Redick compared to his scoring numbers, but even greater. Presumably Redick is easily the most “respected” shooter of the four. Leaving Carroll or Draymond open from 3 to defend a teammate is a more livable strategy than leaving Redick open, one of the signature 3 point shooters in the NBA.

Overall while Redick does not have the D of “3 and D” players like Danny Green or Carroll, his offensive case is by far and away better than theirs. He provides more volume scoring, more efficiency and more floor spacing. Whether this outweighs the presumed defensive gap is unclear.

The argument against Redick would be to call him a system player. Saying ok, he can do this getting shots off Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but what if he had to be best scorer on the 76ers? This is fair, but the same argument has followed 3 and D players around this summer and made ranking Draymond Green a controversial topic. The context of playing off Paul and Griffin has also not stopped people from giving Deandre Jordan far more star accolades than they do for Redick. Even if overexposed on bad teams where his shooting % plummets, Redick’s offensive spacing would be gladly welcomed.

Regardless of how he got there, I’d suggest Redick’s floor spacing and scoring stats made him not just a nice supporting player on the Clippers last year but one of the most powerful offensive weapons at his position and a key part of the league’s top ranked offense.

Written by jr.

October 29, 2015 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Basketball