If you are Duke’s all-time leading scorer, you automatically get defined as a guy with a pretty game, a pretty shot. And JJ Redick’s jumper can be a thing of beauty.
That and $3 will get you a cup of coffee in the NBA. Defenders like Shane Battier or Matt Barnes or Trevor Ariza care not for your pretty shot — they are there to shut you down. To disrupt. And if you’re going to stick you’re going to have to work through it.
It wasn’t fast or easy, but JJ Redick made the transition from pretty boy to grinder, and admitted as much to SLAM.
I think there is 420-450 jobs available and there is probably twice that many players who can play in the NBA. So the guys who stick with it find good situations and really work. There are guys Like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwight Howard that are naturally unbelievable. But for a lot of guys, you have to set yourself apart by your work ethic and what you can contribute.
Redick’s role is that of shooter — he’s hitting 39.4% from three. But he’s hitting other shots and getting to the line, too. His true shooting percentage (think of it as points per shot attempt and counts everything) is 60 percent, well above the league average of 52 percent. He gets more than two assists for every turnover. He’s no defensive stopper, but he’s serviceable.
He’s a grinder, a guy who busted his ass to get his game to the NBA level. He can do one thing very well, and he is passable at others. He found a niche and made sure his game fit it. He gets he’s not LeBron, but he knows how to be a complimentary player to guys like that.
And that is what 95% of the NBA is. Grinders. Guys with some skills who outworked the other guys with skills to make it. Good on Redick for being one of them.
The second round was supposed to be when things got exciting. Instead, the San Antonio Spurs put on an absolute clinic at home, blowing out the Oklahoma City Thunder, 124-92 to take a 1-0 series lead.
Just about everything went in for San Antonio, particularly for LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, who combined for 63 points. How dominant were they?
Aldridge in particular got anything he wanted against the Thunder. Oklahoma City’s stars were quiet, with Kevin Durant scoring just 16 points and Russell Westbrook 14. San Antonio controlled the game from the start and Oklahoma City never recovered from the opening punch.
It’s hard to imagine Durant and Westbrook are this ineffective again, and hopefully the rest of this series will be a little more competitive. But the Spurs did what the Spurs do, and did nothing to shake the feeling that they’re the favorites to win the west, now that Stephen Curry‘s status is unknown.
ATLANTA (AP) A year ago, Atlanta’s magical season ended with a resounding sweep by Cleveland in the Eastern Conference final.
Now, the Hawks have another shot at LeBron James and the Cavaliers.
Feeling confident after an opening-round victory over Boston, the Hawks returned to practice Saturday to begin preparations for the best-of-seven series.
Game 1 is Monday night in Cleveland.
The Hawks were the top-seeded team in the East last season after a record 60-win campaign. It didn’t do them much good against the Cavaliers, who steamrolled Atlanta in four straight games.
Even though they slipped to 48 wins and fourth in the conference, the Hawks actually sound a bit more confident heading into this matchup, largely because of their improved defense and rebounding.
For the second consecutive year, the Warriors have lost their lead assistant to another team. When the Pelicans hired Alvin Gentry during last year’s playoffs, Steve Kerr promoted Luke Walton to associate head coach and added former journeyman big man Jarron Collins to the bench. Now that Walton is headed to the Lakers as their next head coach, the Warriors will go outside the organization to find a replacement, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein. And one name that will likely not be in the mix is David Blatt, who very nearly became an assistant under Kerr in 2014 before being offered the Cavaliers’ head job.
Given Walton’s success this season as interim head coach while Kerr recovered from back surgery, this will undoubtedly be the most attractive assistant job in the league.
In the last few years, NBA head coaching salaries have skyrocketed, and new Lakers coach Luke Walton is no exception. According to the Los Angeles Times‘ Mike Bresnahan, Walton is getting $25 million over five years, which is the same as Steve Kerr’s deal with the Warriors, now-former Knicks coach Derek Fisher’s deal in New York, and Fred Hoiberg’s deal with the Bulls.
This kind of money has become standard for head coaches who don’t also have front-office power. Tom Thibodeau and Stan Van Gundy both get between $7 and $8 million annually to do both jobs. Given how good Walton’s current situation with the Warriors is, the Lakers probably had to be on the high end of the coaching spectrum to get him to leave.