He’s back. The Los Angeles Clippers have announced that sharp-shooting guard JJ Redick has been cleared to play and is expected to start Friday against the Los Angeles Lakers.
— Los Angeles Clippers (@LAClippers) January 10, 2014
Redick has gradually evolved into an effective scorer in the NBA and at 29 years old, he’s been having the best season of his career with the Clippers, then a devastating injury to his right wrist has sidelined him for nearly two months. It’s been 21 games since J.J. Redick took the floor for the Clippers, long enough to almost forget about him. Redick, who has been out since Nov. 29 with a fractured right hand and torn ligament in his wrist, has been on a fast-track to return. His hard cast was removed two weeks ago, he started shooting towards the end of last week, and he returned to practice on Tuesday. Doc Rivers is still uncertain as to how many minutes Redick will play if he suits up against the Lakers.
Time without Redick has certainly been tough for the Clippers, especially since the team is shooting just over 33 percent, which ranks 27th in the league. With Redick on the court, he helps spread the floor for guards like Jamal Crawford and Darren Collison to effectively run their half-court offense and score efficiently. Before suffering his injury he had been averaging 15.9 points per game while shooting 46.1 percent from the floor and 36.4 percent from behind the arc. He now looks to continue his success shooting, and with Chris Paul out for the foreseeable future, the Clippers could certainly use the boost on offense. Although Rivers is uncertain how many minutes Redick will play during his first game back, his impact should be felt immediately, assuming his injured shooting wrist is fully healed.
The Clippers (25-13) have started Willie Green and Jamal Crawford in Redick’s absence with Crawford starting the past 14 games, including 10 victories. When Redick comes back, Crawford will likely shift back into his sixth man role.