Philadelphia 76ers guard JJ Redick has a not-so-secret weapon on offense that’s quietly becoming an integral part of the team’s identity.
The team sent away two of their best shooters (Robert Covington and Dario Saric) to land Jimmy Butler. This gives a bigger role to Redick, who earned the start over Markelle Fultz. Redick can likely maintain this spot especially if he can continue to have success when shooting after handoffs.
Zach Lowe spoke to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck about how this play type has helped Redick transform Philadelphia’s offense (via ESPN):
“Redick running off a Joel Embiid handoff is the single most important component of their offense … at least in the halfcourt.”
You can watch the action unfold below – or approximately five times each game when Redick is playing. No team has called more handoffs (9.9 percent of all offensive possessions) than the Sixers.
He has been on the court for 398 minutes with Embiid so far this season. During these opportunities, the Sixers have outscored their opponents by 10.0 points per 100 possessions. The two played over 1,000 minutes together last season, producing 12.8 net rating during that time.
The Philadelphia guard was 35-for-78 (44.9 percent) from three-point range after passes from Embiid last season. This season, the big man is averaging 1.5 assists per game to Redick.
On Wednesday, Embiid talked about how well he and Redick have done on handoff plays and mentioned that he wants to duplicate that success with Butler.
“[Jimmy and I] had a couple of handoffs, which is something I usually do with JJ. That’s one thing we have to take advantage of because I feel like JJ and I are really unstoppable in our two-man game. Having Jimmy and executing those type of situations with him, I think he takes us to a whole ‘nother level.”
Handoffs have played a huge role in the dynamic between the two players. Here is what one Western Conference scout said about his effectiveness on this play type (via PE.com):
“He reads and uses screens and handoffs as well as any player in the league. He’s one of the best-conditioned athletes in the league as well so he does it for all four quarters. One top of that, his basketball IQ is tremendous.”
Redick has averaged 5.8 points per game when finishing possessions this way, per Synergy Sports. That leads the league, which has become a trend over the past few seasons.
This should only continue as his role increases with more minutes in the starting lineup next to Embiid rather than off the bench coming in for Fultz.