Orlando Magic Blog

Group Blog talking about the NBA 2009 Eastern Conference Champions. Due to the amazing success of the 2009 playoff run comments are now frequently deleted to kill offensive comments, incoherence, or asininity. Comments can no longer be anonymous and require either a Blogger or OpenID account.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Whit Watson has an Opinion

I normally like Watson, but think he is off-base comparing Redick to Diener. Apparently because they are both white and play the same position it's o.k. to compare them to each other.

Compare: Redick: Diener
Height: 6'4.5": 6'1"
Weight: 190: 175
School: Duke: Marquette

Senior Yr Stats:
Position: SG: PG
Minutes: 37.1: 34.0
PPG: 26.8: 19.7
3 pointers 139-330 :68-168
Steals 52: 31
National Awards: Wooden, Naismith & AP Player of the Year : None

Just for fun, let's list the last ten Wooden Award winners:
Unlike awards like the Heisman Trophy for the NFL you could argue that the Wooden Award is a pretty good indicator of future NBA success. No guarantee of reaching superstar status, but a pretty damn good risk as an 11th (or 20th) pick. Take away Jay Williams motorcycle and all those guys are still very good starters in the NBA.

(By the way, if you are an ESPN Insider look up Chad Ford's corrected draft for 2004 -- he is now stating that DH rightly went first, but Jameer should have gone second overall.)

Rant over. Here is what Watson has to say. Sun Sports :: Whit Watson Blog:
"Now the hard part. JJ Redick.

Look, I understand every plus: four-year player at a top-25 program, school's all-time leading scorer, demands the ball in tense situations. It's the resume' that Jameer Nelson has successfully padded in Orlando, and now Redick brings his copy.

Plus, we've heard of him. Don't think for a second that the Magic didn't have 'public relations impact' somewhere on their list of criteria for the 11th pick. It may have been 47th on the list - behind 'knows the Windsor knot' and just in front of 'uses deodorant' - but it was there. Redick is the most recognizable college player that Orlando has drafted in the first round since Mike Miller six years ago, and that's not a bad thing.

My question is this: do the Magic figure to work Redick into the starting lineup, or will he be a Mariano Rivera-style closer, coming off the bench to bomb away? Because if they see him as a 35-minute-per-game guy, I'm a little concerned. At 6-5 (which means 6-3 and a half), who does Redick guard?

Just in his own division, he's got Dwyane Wade, Gilbert Arenas, and Joe Johnson. We haven't gotten to the Nets, Cavs, Pistons, or Bulls yet. There's a reason that Travis Diener, a second-round pick last year who brought a scaled-down version of the Nelson/Redick college cache', rarely saw the floor as a rookie: said floor has two ends. The best shooting in the world is irrelevant if your guy is matching you shot for shot.

That being said, yes, Redick can flat-out shoot it. The last Magic player with that sort of step-off-the-bus range was Dennis Scott, and as I recall, Orlando won a lot of games with 3-D in uniform (Dennis couldn't guard furniture, but what the heck). Orlando was one of the worst three-point shooting teams in the league last year. They need a guy like Redick.

They need him for his moxie as much as his shot. JJ relishes his role as America's Villain, and being hated has done wonders for many NBA players in the past (see Miller, Reggie). The Magic could use a little nasty in their game. Maybe Redick brings that. A little swagger wouldn't kill them."


  • At 4:51 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…


    You have it exactly right. The only fair comparison between Travis and JJ is what you said, they are both white, and they can both shoot it. With that being said, if Travis was as tall as JJ, I think we'd have seen him on the floor alot more last year. Another note, Travis doesn't have the confidence or swagger that JJ does; at least Watson understood that. Teams created defensives to stop JJ, and they still struggled to do so. The only problem I see with JJ is that he is a little undersized. Still, look at Jameer, many people thought he'd never be a "starter" because he's "undersized". The difference is how these guys play. They don't let up, they play with confidence and heart, and that usually makes up for a lack of an inch or 2. When a player forces the issue, he makes teams adjust to him, just like JJ did throughout college. Of course the NBA is a different league, but he has the kind of attitude, chip on the shoulder, or call it what you want, to be a solid player for years. So with that said, a Travis D comparison is totally off, and even a Steve Kerr comparison is totally off. Sure, Kerr could hit a 3 pointer, but he couldn't do anything else. He had no dribble, no passing game, and was pretty much worthless unless he was spotted up wide open. He never once averaged over 8 points in his looong career. Anyway, I'm getting side tracked again, my point, I don't agree with Watson, and I'm way to excited about next season seeing that it's only June...

  • At 4:53 PM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Good thinking in regards to the past Wooden Award winners. That's a quality list of players.

  • At 10:46 PM, Blogger Mike from Illinois said…

    And that comes out to 42.1% on Redick's 3 pt field goal attempts!

    If he can come close to that with the Magic... wow what a huge boost for the team that would be!

    Maybe I'm foolish, but I'm trusting Bryan Hill's defensive knowledge to cover up for Redick's deficiencies on defense.

  • At 12:20 AM, Blogger Ken said…

    Exactly right on all accounts. Especially about finally making other teams have to adjust to us. I also agree with the "villian" role analogy. The guy that other teams' fans love to hate. The guy who will bury you with .06 left on the clock. I know the "undersize" and lack of defense are are real concern, but hopefully BH can fix that, i dunno..thats another post LoL... Magic needed to grow a set of "balls", and this pick sure helped that...

  • At 10:37 AM, Blogger OVERWADED said…

    Those are some good thoughts. It's nice to see a little life on this blog again! ;)

  • At 11:31 PM, Blogger SunSportsTV said…

    Actually, if you read the blog carefully, you'll see that I termed Diener as a "scaled-down" version of Redick, in terms of collegiate experience, size (both are undersized by NBA standards), and shooting range. Redick had a much more distinguished college career, which I noted in the blog. The fact that they're both white was brought up only here, not on my blog, and not by me. That's a shaky conclusion to draw, in my view, and further, I didn't make it.

    The similarity between Redick and Diener, other than their outstanding college resumes, is a concern (on my part) about defense. In the time since I posted the blog entry, however, no less an authority than David Steele pointed out to me that with the new hand-check rules being enforced in the NBA (see Dwyane Wade's performance in the Finals for a perfect example), there's no such thing as a lock-down perimeter defender anymore - in other words, the rules will end up benefitting both Redick and Diener. In that sense, the defense question regarding Redick may be moot - he'll get whistled if he gets too handsy, but then again, so will the guy guarding him.

    For what it's worth, Diener was absolutely dominant in the Summer Pro League game today. He looked light-years better than the rookie free agents he was playing against, as he should. I'm rooting for both of them. Thanks for reading the blog, and feel free to respond anytime.

    Whit Watson
    Sun Sports


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