Tag: J.J. Redick

Miami Heat v Detroit Pistons

Erik Spoelstra: Heat’s starting lineup needs time before it’ll succeed


Who has the NBA’s best starting lineup?

The Warriors (Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green, Andrew Bogut)?

The Cavaliers (Kyrie Irving, Iman Shumpert, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Timofey Mozgov)?

The Spurs (Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tim Duncan)?

The Clippers (Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan)?

Take your pick between those four or other contenders like the Thunder, Rockets or Bulls.

But there’s one team that belongs in the discussion despite two oddities:

  • All five projected starters played for the team last season, but its projected starting lineup didn’t log a single minute together.
  • The team missed the playoffs.

Yup, the Heat with Goran Dragic, Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng, Chris Bosh and Hassan Whiteside.

Bosh was sidelined for the rest of the season with blood clots just after Miami traded for Dragic. So, the lineup’s debut was postponed to this season.

On paper, the Heat have it all – offense and defense inside and out. They’re balanced, and nobody is playing out of position.

But Miami coach Erik Spoelstra cautions against expecting instant gratification.

Spoelstra, via Zach Lowe of Grantland:

“It’s not the kind of lineup where you can just throw it out there, and you know it will work,” Spoelstra says. “It’s going to take practice.”

The biggest question with the Heat’s top lineup is health, especially Wade. He’s 33 and has a history of knee problems. There are also questions about Whiteside’s ability to perform over a full season, Bosh’s rust and Deng’s longevity.

But those are all individual concerns.

Like I said, there’s a lot to like about this unit as a whole. The one area for caution is probably Dragic and Wade sharing ball-handling duties. Though they play different positions – Dragic point guard and Wade shooting guard – both are used to being the lead guard. That could take more time to sort out.

Mostly, though, I think Spoelstra is just trying to lower expectations. The less people think of a team, the more opportunity the coach has to impress (and the less blame he’ll take if the team falters).

Report: Lakers-Clippers scheduled for Christmas


The Lakers have the NBA’s longest active streak of Christmas games, playing on Dec. 25 the last 16 years.

Pencil them in for 17.

Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angels Times:

This joins Warriors-Cavaliers and Heat-Pelicans as the reported Christmas games in the NBA’s tentative schedule. This is probably the least-attractive matchup on paper, though.

The Clippers have at least three players – Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan – better than any Lakers. It’s possible, with the right breaks, J.J. Redick, Lance Stephenson and/or Paul Pierce could best any Laker, too.

Oops, I forgot Kobe Bryant is still arguably the NBA’s best player.

This is a regular-season game, and any team can win one of those. So, don’t be surprised if the Lakers win. This might be their biggest game of the season while the Clippers look forward to the playoffs.

But make no mistake: This is the Clippers’ game to lose, and they’re also playing for something – trying to carve into the Lakers’ massive fan base in Los Angeles.

Phil Jackson questions whether Duke players live up to expectations in NBA

2015 NBA Draft

The Knicks drafted Kristaps Porzingis with the No. 4 pick, and the early returns are positive.

But they also surely considered a couple players from Duke – Jahlil Okafor (who went No. 3 to the 76ers) and Justise Winslow (No. 10 to the Heat).

Would New York have chosen either? Knicks president Phil Jackson implies he had concerns simply because of their college team.

Jackson on Okafor, via Charlie Rosen of ESPN:

Jackson thinks he might not be aggressive enough. “Also, if you look at the guys who came to the NBA from Duke, aside from Grant Hill, which ones lived up to expectations?”

Let’s take a comprehensive look rather than cherry-picking players who could support either side of the argument.

We obviously don’t know yet whether Okafor, Winslow and Tyus Jones (No. 24 this year) will live up to expectations. Jabari Parker (No. 2 in 2014) looked pretty good last year, but he missed most of the season due to injury. It’s far too soon to make any judgments on him.

Otherwise, here are all Duke players drafted in the previous 15 years:

Lived up to expectations

  • Rodney Hood (No. 23 in 2014)
  • Mason Plumlee (No. 22 in 2013)
  • Ryan Kelly (No. 48 in 2013)
  • Miles Plumlee (No. 26 in 2012)
  • Kyrie Irving (No. 1 in 2011)
  • Kyle Singler (No. 33 in 2011)
  • Josh McRoberts (No. 37 in 2007)
  • J.J. Redick (No. 11 in 2006)
  • Luol Deng (No. 7 in 2004)
  • Chris Duhon (No. 38 in 2004)
  • Carlos Boozer (No. 34 in 2002)
  • Shane Battier (No. 6 in 2001)

Didn’t live up to expectations

  • Austin Rivers (No. 10 in 2012)
  • Nolan Smith (No. 21 in 2011)
  • Gerald Henderson (No. 12 in 2009)
  • Shelden Williams (No. 5 in 2006)
  • Daniel Ewing (No. 32 in 2005)
  • Dahntay Jones (No. 20 in 2003)
  • Mike Dunleavy (No. 3 in 2002)
  • Jay Williams (No. 2 in 2002)
  • Chris Carrawell (No. 41 in 2000)

That’s 12-of-21 – a 57 percent hit rate.

By comparison, here are players drafted from North Carolina in the same span:

Lived up to expectations

  • Harrison Barnes (No. 7 in 2012)
  • John Henson (No. 14 in 2012)
  • Tyler Zeller (No. 17 in 2012)
  • Ed Davis (No. 13 in 2010)
  • Tyler Hansbrough (No. 13 in 2009)
  • Ty Lawson (No. 18 in 2009)
  • Wayne Ellington (No. 28 in 2009)
  • Danny Green (No. 46 in 2009)
  • Brandan Wright (No. 8 in 2007)
  • Brendan Haywood (No. 20 in 2001)

Didn’t live up to expectations

  • Reggie Bullock (No. 25 in 2013)
  • Kendall Marshall (No. 13 in 2012)
  • Reyshawn Terry (No. 44 in 2007)
  • David Noel (No. 39 in 2006)
  • Marvin Williams (No. 2 in 2005)
  • Raymond Felton (No. 5 in 2005)
  • Sean May (No. 13 in 2005)
  • Rashad McCants (No. 14 in 2005)
  • Joseph Forte (No. 21 in 2001)

The Tar Heels are 10-for-19 – 53 percent.

Nobody would reasonably shy from drafting players from North Carolina, and they’ve fared worse than Duke players. Making snap judgments about Duke players just because they went to Duke is foolish.

Jackson is talking about a different time, when aside from Hill, Duke had a long run of first-round picks failing to meet expectations:

  • Roshown McLeod (No. 20 in 1998)
  • Cherokee Parks (No. 12 in 1995)
  • Bobby Hurley (No. 7 in 1993)
  • Christian Laettner (No. 3 in 1992)
  • Alaa Abdelnaby (No. 25 in 1990)
  • Danny Ferry (No. 2 in 1989)

Then, it was fair to question whether Mike Krzyzewski’s coaching yielded good college players who didn’t translate to the pros. But there have been more than enough counterexamples in the years since to dismiss that theory as bunk or outdated.

Count this as another example of Jackson sounding like someone who shouldn’t run an NBA team in 2015.

To be fair, the Knicks had a decent offseason, at least once you acknowledge they couldn’t land a star (which was kind of supposed to be Jackson’s job, right?).

The questions Knicks fans must ask themselves: Do you trust Jackson because of the moves he has made or worry about the next move because of what he has said?

Jamal Crawford tweets he wishes he were a free agent

Los Angeles Clippers v San Antonio Spurs - Game Four

Jamal Crawford was the Clippers’ only reliable reserve last year.

Now, he’s on a suddenly loaded team that projects to start Chris Paul, J.J. Redick, Paul Pierce, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and bring Crawford, Austin Rivers, Lance Stephenson, Wesley Johnson, Josh Smith and Cole Aldrich off the bench.

Is Crawford excited? Maybe.

But he also wishes he were a free agent.

Let’s not mistake Crawford’s desire to be a free agent for him being a malcontent.

If he were a free agent, he might re-sign with the Clippers. He’d probably get more than the $5,675,000 he’s owed next season – or at least more security with a long-term deal.

He’d also get the freedom to choose his team. He might see himself as somewhat superfluous with Rivers and Stephenson.

As is, the Clippers can trade him anywhere without giving him a say. (And they might.)

Most players probably wish they could be free agents now. John Wall certainly does, and that has nothing to do with him wanting to leave the Wizards. This is a summer to make money, and there’s the freedom of choice that always exists with free agency.

The Clippers present a good situation – just not so good that Crawford would reject the ability to explore the market on his own terms. That’s not only reasonable, it’s quite logical.

It’s official: DeAndre Jordan has re-signed with Clippers; Mavericks are screwed

Los Angeles Clippers v Houston Rockets - Game Seven

We’ve known this was coming for hours, ever since Blake Griffin barricaded the door (that was a joke people):

DeAndre Jordan has officially re-signed with the Los Angeles Clippers, something the team announced on Twitter.

Or, fittingly today, if you prefer the news in emoji form, here it is complete with a new grade from J.J. Redick.

This is a four-year max deal for $87.7 million with an opt-out after three years, something first reported by Sam Amick of the USA Today. So, the argument this was about the money or security goes out the window, Jordan took the same deal Dallas was offering just with larger raises (but more state taxes).

Five days ago Jordan announced he had chosen the Dallas Mavericks over the Clippers and the reason was he felt wanted — the Clippers had taken him for granted, they didn’t feature him enough in the offense, and all the glory went to Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. Jordan felt CP3 dismissed him. Dallas promised him a larger role, showed him he was wanted, told him he would be featured.

But a few days later, Jordan — who was always torn on his choice — started to have buyer’s remorse. He let Doc Rivers and some Clippers players know that. He said (or at least the Clippers’ spin) he felt is agent Dan Fegan — who has an excellent relationship with Cuban — pushed him to Dallas. (Sources close to the agent deny this.)

With the NBA’s moratorium at the start of free agency — eight days where teams and players could negotiate but no binding deal can be signed — a desperate Clippers team had an opening.

The Clippers decided to make a push to get Jordan to change his mind, and it led to one of the wildest days of free agency ever. Rivers, owner Steve Ballmer, plus Paul, Blake Griffin, J.J. Redick and Paul Pierce flew to Houston to meet with Jordan. Mark Cuban and Chandler Parsons from the Mavs tried to get there too. There was a hysterical emoji travel showdown.

The Clippers got their meeting, Chris Paul was apparently very emotional and said he thought he and Jordan were brothers and he wanted to make any perceived slights right. But by then, Jordan had already made up his mind. He didn’t need much persuading. The Clippers players started playing cards and hanging out. There were video game contests.

But they wouldn’t leave until Jordan signed the papers. The Clippers stayed until midnight Eastern, and Jordan never even took a call or spoke to Cuban.

There is going to be a lot of fall out. There were a lot of signings agreed to, and deals made as a cascade effect of Jordan saying he would go to Dallas, and it’s not just Cuban who is an angry owner. Other teams did not like how this went down. Expect some push to change the moratorium system.

On the court, Dallas is screwed as they have no recourse to begin to fill in the role Jordan was to play, the top free agents are off the bord. They had Jordan and Wesley Matthews (who is still signing with the Mavs) but if they had not gotten those two free agents to come to Dallas, Cuban has said Dallas night have stripped it down and gone for the draft pick this year. Now, instead, they are a pretty good team, but in the West pretty good is first round and out. At best. More than likely the Mavs are in the lottery.

There is going to be a lot of hatred for the Clippers and Jordan, who went back on his word. The first game in Dallas is going to be a deafening set of boos. Jordan brought all of that on himself.

The Clippers do not care. They got their guy and with him they are legit title contenders. Chris Paul summed it up this way.

"Believe only half of what you see, and nothing that you hear" -Edgar Allan Poe

A photo posted by Chris Paul (@cp3) on