• 57°

Rough season for NBA rookie

By Travis Reed

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — J.J. Redick no longer is the go-to guy. He’s not even the guy behind the guy, or the guy behind him.

“I’m the 14th guy on this team, 15th guy,” the Orlando Magic rookie said after his career-best NBA night — nine points on 2-for-3 shooting in a recent win against the Miami Heat.

That would have been a subpar first half for Redick about this time last year, when he averaged 27 points a game at Duke on his way to becoming a repeat All-American and AP Player of the Year.

Once an immensely popular and reviled figure, Redick now endures a new phenomenon: irrelevance.

The Magic has played more than 30 games this year, and the rookie has appeared in just eight of them for a total of 95 minutes. That’s far less than anyone else on the team now that the Magic sent its other rookie, James Augustine, to the NBA Developmental League.

Though Redick has suited up for only about half of Orlando’s games, he’s tried to keep a sense of humor about it.

“To really get a feel for things, you’ve got to get some game experience,” Redick said. “That’s what, 50 minutes on the year for me? Hopefully I’ll tip 100 soon. They’re still paying me.”

Magic coach Brian Hill said Redick’s playing time has nothing to do with the No. 11 draft pick’s skills and everything to do with the players ahead of him. The Magic lead the Southeast Division, using a physical roster with a strong emphasis on defense. Redick is 6-foot-4, 190 pounds and has never been lauded for his defensive abilities.

The Magic could use Redick’s help from the 3-point and free-throw lines. Orlando is among the league’s worst in both categories, and Redick is the all-time college 3-point leader and second-best NCAA free-throw shooter in history.

“I know what I do every day in practice,” Redick said. “So, as far as confidence, I don’t feel like it’s dwindled at all. There’s a comfort that’s different in the NBA game than there is in the college game. I feel more comfortable every time I’m out there.”

Redick was limited this summer and fall with a herniated disc that kept him out of rookie camp and a foot injury during the preseason. He finished the exhibition season with no points on 0-for-3 shooting and didn’t make his Magic debut until Orlando’s 14th game.

The Magic have said all along they like Redick’s toughness, intensity and swagger, and Hill insists there’s a place on the team for him. He also isn’t worried about the rookie’s mentality despite sitting at the end of the bench all season.

“I don’t think J.J. has ever lacked confidence,” Hill said with a smile.

Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

Three deaths, 29 new COVID-19 positives reported

Crime

Blotter: Bullet holes found in woman’s Park Avenue apartment

Crime

Man faces assault charges for domestic incident

High School

Photo gallery: Carson girls win West Regional, headed to state championship

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls headed to state championship game

Local

Commissioners set date for public hearing on potential solar energy system rule changes

Health

Two of Rep. Sasser’s bills successfully pass through Health Committee

Local

Rep. Warren’s measure to allow removal of public notices from newspapers put on back burner

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs future of previously rejected housing development

Local

Salisbury City Council hears public comments, receives presentation on Main Street reconfiguration

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with felony drug offenses

Nation/World

California crash kills 13 of 25 people crammed into SUV

Nation/World

Biden vows enough vaccines by end of May

Coronavirus

State to vaccinate medically vulnerable starting March 24

Coronavirus

One new death, 20 new COVID-19 positives reported in Rowan

Kannapolis

Kannapolis man dies in moped crash

Crime

Salisbury Police chief addresses K-9 video, says officer separated from animal

Local

Rowan Rescue Squad sets record straight on fundraising typo

Local

City approves DOT agreement, Salisbury Station project could begin next year

Local

County plans to use vulture effigy, enforce violations to remedy animal carcass feeding problem

Education

Two weeks after ending enhanced protocols, Catawba has no COVID-19 cases

News

Council to hear revised version of Downtown Main Street Plan

Local

Veto override of NC school reopening bill fails in Senate

News

Political Notebook: Majority of likely voters, local legislators support school reopening bill