ST. FRANCIS, Wis. — J.J. Redick has been one of the most consistent shooters in the NBA the past seven seasons.
A career 39.3 3-point shooter, Redick entered Monday’s game against Charlotte shooting just 32.9 percent from beyond the arc since coming to the Bucks at the trade deadline.
Article continues below ...
Prior to his first 20-point night with Milwaukee against the Bobcats Monday, Redick was averaging just 11.8 points per game, down from the 15.1 average he had in Orlando.
While it wasn’t expected that Redick score the same as he did in Orlando where he was getting the majority of the shots, he has expected more out of himself with his new team.
“I’m my own harshest critic,” Redick said. “If I was to give myself a letter grade, it wouldn’t be the most stellar grade. I want to play a perfect game, every game. That’s what I try to hold myself too, but it doesn’t always work that way. You don’t always play great.”
What grade would Redick assign himself?
“Maybe like a B-minus,” Redick said. “Maybe like an 82 or 83 if we are doing a 10-point scale.”
It’s not easy for any player to make the shift to a new team in the middle of a season, but Redick had spent his entire career in one place and this is his first experience learning on the fly.
As an intelligent person, Redick knew it wasn’t going to be easy trying to fit in with a Milwaukee team that already had Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis demanding the ball in the backcourt, but his strengths not going his way has irked him the most.
“I guess I expected it to be challenging,” Redick said. “I think it would be challenging for everybody, finding a comfort level with your teammates, all that stuff.
“For me, the frustrating part just has been picking my spots and when you have four or five games where the ball doesn’t go in the way I normally shoot the ball. That’s frustrating because I know this team needs my shooting. We’re trying to win games.”
Against the Bobcats, Redick finally found some rhythm. He hit a three-pointer early in the second half that got him going, and he didn’t look back on his way to a 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting.
Bucks guard Monta Ellis had a career-high 14 assists against the Bobcats and set Redick up with good looks on multiple occasions.
“I’ve enjoyed playing with Monta,” Redick said. “Not that I haven’t enjoyed playing with Brandon (Jennings), but it seems like a lot of times it is Monta at the point and me at the two when I’m in the game. It’s been good. I feel more comfortable with him.
“He’s such a good passer to the interior that sometimes I feel like he’s not seeing me. Last night he had 14 assists and he found everyone and he found me when I was open. He was dynamite last night. I’ve been surprised as how good of a passer he is. I don’t think he gets enough credit for that.”
One of the more interesting quotes Redick had after Tuesday’s practice came when he was asked if Milwaukee’s locker room compares to any he’s been on. Redick has played in the NBA Finals with Orlando and has been on other playoff teams, so his word holds value.
“This locker room is unlike any locker room I’ve ever been a part of,” Redick said. “I mean that in the most endearing way possible. It’s an interesting group of characters. There’s no comparison, whatsoever.
“It’s a group of characters. It’s been good at times when we’ve really locked in and focused. It seems like against some of the better teams we have a better focus. That’s just human nature. If you want to be a great team you are good every night. You get up to play everybody. If there’s one thing that I’ve kind of taken away from my 4 or 5 weeks here, it’s continuing to work toward consistency. That should be where our focus is the next few weeks.”