When the Los Angeles Clippers acquired veteran guard J.J. Redick heading into the 2013-14 NBA season, many people looked at the move as a potential game-changer. Sure, Redick isn’t the same caliber player as his now teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, but having such a dangerous offensive weapon on the wing is something the Clips haven’t had during their rise to relevance.
In the time that he’s been on the floor, Redick has certainly been a wonderful addition to this team. The issue has been that he’s been hurt quite often this season. In fact, Redick hasn’t played since Feb. 3 due to a lingering back injury that will likely keep him sidelined a little longer.
However, the Clippers haven’t faltered without Redick and have actually looked like a potential contender as of late. The emergence of Griffin as a near-superstar and the always-effective play of Paul are a big part of that, but something that’s been overlooked in all of this is how Darren Collison has stepped up as of late.
On Thursday night as the Clippers came from behind to top the Dallas Mavericks, Collison’s offense was huge in putting them in position to win. In 25 minutes on a night where Jamal Crawford couldn’t find his rhythm, Collison put up 11 points and two assists while shooting 4-9 from the floor and 3-4 from long-range.
Collison has quietly been on a tear the in the month of March. Playing 33.6 minutes per game, the guard has put up 15.1 points, four assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 50.5 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent from three.
While getting Redick back for the postseason is still in the cards and would be the ideal situation, things could work out positively if Collison can continue this kind of run. If Redick can’t return, Collison has played well enough to where it won’t be a detrimental blow. If Redick does return, this experience at this point in the season for Collison could make him an extremely valuable reserve. Either way, the Clippers are sitting pretty right now and Collison deserves a good deal of credit for that.