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John Denton "floored" by J.J. Redick's Strong Practice

John Denton attended the Magic's practice today and filed this must-read report on J.J. Redick:

I was floored by what I saw.

During one 10-minute scrimmage, Redick scored 14 of his team's 16 points. He hit one long jumper after another, made a couple of really nice assists and (gasp!) held his own defensively.


On why he hasn't played and his alleged inability to play defense: The thing that is frustrating for me is not getting a clear understanding of why I haven't been given an opportunity," Redick said. "You can talk about defense all you want but there have been nine or 10 (shooting) guards who have had their season high on us this year. Obviously Mo (Evans) and (Keith) Bogans are solid defenders, but at some point I figured I'd have at least gotten a chance by now and that hasn't happened. That's frustrating."

J.J. may hold his own defensively in practice, but in games, it's a different story. When he's on the floor, the Magic yield an obscenely high offensive rating of 119.2*. When he's off the floor, the Magic's defense improves dramatically, yielding an offensive rating of just 106.3. Somehow, someway, the Magic are nearly 13 points worse per 100 possessions when Redick plays.

Maybe J.J. will get a chance to play at some point, but I'm not sure when it'd be. The Magic were up by 20 points with 4 minutes to play against New Jersey on Wednesday night, and Redick still didn't get off the pine. Not even fans chanting Redick's name could convince Stan Van Gundy to put him in the game. If that situation isn't a perfect one in which to play Redick, I don't know what is.

Despite his lack of burn, I don't think the Magic will trade him. If they were planning on doing that, they'd "showcase" him by playing him more often, and in non-garbage-time situations.

*: For comparison, the Phoenix Suns, the most efficient offense in the NBA, have an offensive rating of 115.0.