Philadelphia 76ers: Don’t count out J.J. Redick’s star power

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

While he may be largely overlooked by non-Philadelphia 76ers fans, J.J. Redick’s star power was on full display against the Denver Nuggets.

On Friday night, the Wells Fargo Center was packed with fans eager for their first chance to see the Philadelphia 76ers‘ new Big-4.

Though not the entirety of Elton Brand‘s haul was available to play, as Jonathan Simmons had yet to arrive from Orlando, the game was fans in the 215’s first opportunity to see Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic, Mike Scott, and James Ennis suit up in the red, white, and blue.

And the star of the game? None other than J.J. Redick.

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That ‘s right, it was Redick, not Harris, Jimmy Butler, Ben Simmons, or an ailing Joel Embiid, who finished out the night as the game’s high man; scoring a Sixers career-high 34 points on 15 shots.

A fitting tribute to Moses Malone if you ask me.

Though it wasn’t always easy for the team’s elder statesman, as he did uncharacteristically miss a field goal, Redick played with a ferocity of a player overlooked and underappreciated, looking every bit like a player coming off an extended period of rest.

Whether paired with Embiid, Harris, or Butler, Redick found a way to score the ball early and often, hitting an insane 6-7 3-point attempts for an 85 completion percentage.

Wow, I guess he must have read all about the team’s Big-4 too.

Now granted, Redick’s typical flaws were still on full display, as he’s still a defensive liability and often has to run a quarter-mile to get open on a screen, but still, to count out one of the best shooters in the entire league period as nothing but more than a filler fifth-starter is a bit shortsighted, and discredits everything the former Blue Devil brings to the table.

As things presently stand, Redick ranks fourth on the team in scoring (18.3), third on the team in 3-point shooting percentage (38.4), and first on the team in free throw percentage (90.2).

Those aren’t filler, fringe starter numbers, no, they’re congruent with that of a certified All-Star.

Redick’s presence on the court forces opposing teams to play the 76ers differently much like Embiid and Simmons do in the paint. When Redick’s perched on the wings opposing teams can’t in good conscious crowd the paint with bodies to shutout the 76ers’ inside drivers, as both Embiid and Simmons are superb passers for their positions and are more than capable of launching an outlet pass out for an uncontested 3-pointer.

Now that the team has an additional dynamic scorer in Harris, capable of getting a basket from virtually anywhere on the court, Redick’s presence becomes even more deadly, serving as an always available second option on a team that already feasts on mismatches.

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Sure, he may be the team’s least physically gifted starter, and he may look like Nawt from the Monstars alongside the team’s current starting five (you will never be able to unsee it) but J.J. Redick is an absolutely vital cog in the Philadelphia 76ers’ offensive machine, and his star power deserves a bit more national recognition.