As per the Los Angeles Clippers press release, the team will be without J.J. Redick for the next 6-8 weeks as he recovers from a fracture in his right hand and a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL). The Clippers’ starting shooting guard was averaging a healthy 15.8 points on 46 percent shooting from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc in just 28 minutes per game before awkwardly landing on his wrist during the second quarter of a game against the Sacramento Kings.
There’s no doubt the Clippers will miss Redick’s elite floor spacing and shooting, especially in the first quarter of games. Redick sets the tone on offence, leading the Clippers in first quarter points with 6.8 per game. L.A.’s first set of the game usually involves Redick coming out a single-double screen and determining what to do with the ball. With Willie Green starting in Redick’s absence tonight, the Pacers outscored the Clippers 29-22 as Green missed two attempts from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, the Clippers will miss Redick’s all-around skill on the other end of the court as well.
After giving up the worst defensive efficiency rating in the early going of the season, the Clippers have now climbed to 16th. Over the past five games, the Clippers rank fifth in defensive efficiency (not including Sunday’s game against Indiana), largely due to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan’s improved defensive prowess. The Clippers’ dynamic front court duo owes a great deal of its recent success to Redick, though, whose instinct and intelligence often gives them defensive leeway in the form of an extra second to make a rotation— often the difference between a stop and a score.
With Matt Barnes already missing in action, this injury hurts the Clippers depth. As Jovan Buha put it in today’s ClipperBlog Live, L.A. could lose some games they should win as a result of Redick’s absence. On the other hand, the Clippers’ depleted perimeter depth spells more minutes for rookie Reggie Bullock, who has shown flashes of great defensive potential and the makings to be a floor spacer. No question, the Clippers are going to miss J.J. Redick but if Bullock blossoms, this setback might be more a blessing in disguise than a hamper on the Clippers’ championship aspirations.