We told you J.J. Redick would be a part of this series. And for better AND for worse, he has been.
Redick put his mark on Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals moreso than any playoff game in his career. It was Redick who scored 16 points and added five rebounds and four assists, while being assigned to Ray Allen. Allen scored just 4 points in close to 39 minutes on the floor, thanks mostly to the work of Redick, plowing through screens and constantly challenging Allen. Then Redick erased his terrific play by failing to recognize the situation he was in upon rebounding a Kevin Garnett miss, costing his team both time for the final shot and the ability to advance the ball.
Such a terrible way to end a great performance. And yet, tonight in Boston, it’ll again be Redick who will be called upon to attempt to shut down one of Boston’s Big 3. It’ll be notable to see how Redick responds to the world of controversy he’s faced over the last week in an attempt to bounce back. Redick is a reliable three point shooter, which the Magic have been hunting for, with the Celtics geared towards running off the shots they allowed in last year’s Semifinals.
Redick played brilliantly but may have cost his team the game. So tonight, he’ll be called upon to do everything he did in Game 2, all except that.
The chess game continues, even as Boston has checkmate in sight.