Tue, Nov 6th 2012, 09:17
You know how far J.J. Redick has come as an NBA player when he confesses the following:
For him, making the perfect pass now has pulled into a dead heat with making the perfect shot.
“I can’t decide what I like more: an executed pocket pass that leads to a lay-up or dunk or a 3. Hmmmm. It would be the same for me,” Redick said, chuckling.
But it didn’t always used to be that way.
“No, no,” he said.
Redick came out of Duke in 2005, known strictly as a decorated shooter. He even has a shooting video on the market (J.J. Redick: Better Basketball).
But J.J. agrees that expanding his game has even helped his shot because defenders have to be wary of him passing or driving, and always moving without the ball.
“Exactly. That’s something, again, that playing for five years for Stan [Van Gundy], drilling over and over and working on my own over and over … developing that pocket pass,” he said. “It’s an automatic thing now, a natural occurrence.”
A natural occurrence this season has been Redick hitting Glen “Big Baby” Davis right in his pocket or shooting position.
J.J. said he wants to “be a guy other players want to play with.”
After two games, Redick leads the Magic in assists with a dozen. That will get you a lot of friends.
He’s playing the best basketball of his career and has never felt more confident, his days as a shaky, frustrated rookie long behind him. He talks like a tactician, analyzing and adjusting to a new offense under Jacque Vaughn.
“Just in general, yes, I would say I’m more comfortable than I’ve ever been as an NBA player,” he said.