In the midst of the NBA free agency chaos, a subtle move was made by the Los Angeles Clippers this evening that may propel them to the NBA Finals next year.
The Clippers picked up JJ Redick and Jared Dudley in a three team trade with the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns.
Redick averaged 14.1 ppg and shot 43.4% FG, 36.6% 3ptFG and 90% FT. Meanwhile, Dudley averaged 10.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg and shot 46.8% and 39.1% 3ptFG.
On a day when Dwight Howard was the talk of the NBA, the Clippers under the radar move was brilliant because neither Redick or Dudley need the ball in their hands to be effective.
Redick is one of the league’s better catch and shoot players, although he can also put the ball on the floor.
Dudley, on the other hand, will defend and rebound on both ends of the floor, keeping possessions alive and having a relentless attitude.
Doc Rivers is savvy enough as a coach to get Redick shots (as he did for Ray Allen during his Boston days) while maximizing the spacing the floor for Paul. Dudley can then do his thing by defending and being a sort of garbage man on the offensive end.
Coaches should remember that having the best talent does not always make for the best teams. Role players a.k.a. ‘Glue guys’ are needed on every squad to do the dirty work and fit within the team parameters–The Heat’s Shane Battier is a perfect example of this.
Glue guys provide key energy and momentum, while not disrupting the natural flow of the game.
The Clippers definitely addressed their chemistry issues today because ‘glue guys’ are high character and low maintenance individuals.
The most interesting aspect of ‘glue guys’ are that they are a dichotomy. For instance, Redick and Dudley will make Paul’s job as a team leader much easier because they will follow him without reservation and do the right thing. However they will also lead by example due to their general approach to the game and overall work ethic.
The best of both worlds for sure.
The message is clear then. Coaches grab a ‘glue guy’ — and don’t let go.
Follow Bert DeSalvo on Twitter @CoachDeSalvo