The Orlando Magic added four fresh faces to their roster just before the new year, but fifth-year guard J.J. Redick still remains a solid and steady fixture in their rotation.
Redick hardly played when he first entered the NBA, but wound up surprising a lot of people who questioned how much of a contributor he would be at the pro level. Though not the most physically gifted of players, Redick has relied on his high basketball IQ and strong work ethic to succeed, which can be traced back to the four years he spent at Duke playing under Coach K.
Since his sophomore season with the Magic, Redick has gradually adjusted his game and figured out how to fit into the league. He became more efficient during the minutes he was given, which eventually earned Stan Van Gundy’s trust and more court time. Redick has shown steady improvement while developing into a reliable role player for Orlando and was rewarded with a new contract this summer.
A lethal long-range gunner, Redick has flourished in the Magic’s shoot-first style of offense. And he’s also rounded out other parts of his game. Redick has a convincing pump fake and has become a threat to take it to the hole. Redick adds toughness to Orlando’s roster and he’s worked very hard to become a better defender, figuring out ways to guard quicker, more athletic players like Celtic Ray Allen.
Redick continues to be very productive for the Magic, improving in both minutes played and ppg this season. And his role could increase while Brandon Bass recovers from a left-knee injury he sustained against the Knicks on Thursday. Redick has averaged 29.3 minutes, 15.3 ppg, 2 rebounds and 1.7 assists over the past six games, and he is available in over 80% of fantasy leagues. The Orlando Magic entered 2011 on a five-game winning streak and will play four games this week beginning with a homecourt battle against the Golden State Warriors tonight.