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Don't Double JJ!

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How His Threes Make Us Two-Point Gods

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Credit Chris Paul or don't. But I saw him waft lazily around the court while Blake was posting and toasting, JJ dancing and prancing around screens. Finally Chris sprung between two defenders, drew both of their attention, and a blink later JJ hit a wide open three. That's not just a run-on sentence - it's also a play from the year they had the most efficient offense in the league, beating those filthy Warriors by a tenth of a point.


But being the most efficient means being the most scrutinized. Each season, JJ is a threat to join the 50-40-90 club. (If you listen to FiveThirtyEight, he's elite with or without that distinction). Defenders scramble to deny him any airspace as he flies around picks. Teams expect him to run through elaborate sets of screens, and they counter this by doubling Redick on the perimeter, abandoning the paint to take away jumpers. What sometimes goes unnoticed in this period of three-happy basketball is how the threat of the long ball can open up the coveted, point-blank "dunk shot" or layup. Don't believe me? Stats believe me.

BUT.... DEFENSE?

This is the part where someone tells me I'm ignoring the defensive part of the game. I'm here to tell YOU that I'm not ignoring anything. Chasing Redick around screens tires out other guards, especially when a certain Curry gets "hidden" on him in games. And I have found SOME proof of that in terms of how badly opponents shoot from the field when guarded by JJ, at least from last season.

This kind of effect is always valuable, but as I have so few supporting numbers, keep it on the down low for now. BACK TO BUCKETS...

TL;DR

You could say I came up with this idea while checking out Deandre Jordan's sexy two point percentage and how it ranks among the all-time seasons in NBA history. As of right now, he shoots 74.4% at the rim when JJ's on the court; when Redick is off the court, he shoots 69%.[1]

If you're looking for a tl;dr, look no further than DeAndre. Watch any Clips game and you're bound to see DJ set a pin-down near the baseline, have JJ run around him to catch the ball with plenty of airspace, and God forbid if any idiot defenders ignore Deandre to close out on that JJ three. DJ will catch the ball through the seams and finish at the rim ferociously.

Maybe that's why Doc insists that Redick always play with Deandre. If JJ is out there, better make sure Jordan is also there to reap the geometric benefits. So for everyone who thinks Doc is NOT the coach for this team (myself included) and that we are doomed to lose in the second round, maybe we should all take a step back for a moment and marvel at the greatest shooter in the Pacific Division (yeah that wasn't a typo).

This Week's Picks

Now that Blake is back in the lineup, each week we will start including projected wins and point differentials for every game up to Sunday. These projections come to you via calculations based on shooting numbers, which is a fancy way of saying you don't have to know EXACTLY how my model works, you just have to provide feedback so we can improve it for the future. Everyone's a critic, right? Enjoy responsibly.

April 12th - Memphis - 10:30 EST: Projected to win by 13

April 13th - @Phoenix - 10:30 EST: Projected to win by 9



[1] All stats sourced from NBA.com unless otherwise noted