New Orleans Pelicans: J.J. Redick needs to step up and save the bench

J.J. Redick, Stan Van Gundy and Josh Hart of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
J.J. Redick, Stan Van Gundy and Josh Hart of the New Orleans Pelicans (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The New Orleans Pelicans need a boost from J.J. Redick.

The New Orleans Pelicans came into the 2020-21 season with a few question marks but J.J. Redick was not supposed to be one of them.

It is way too early to panic and Redick has earned some trust and patience, but right now the Pelicans’ bench is struggling, in large part because Redick is struggling.

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We knew coming into the season that Nicolo Melli and Jaxson Hayes were potential weak spots in the rotation and so far they have been, which is why it is even more important that Redick hit shots.

The Pelicans’ bench has been scorched in every game so far, which is putting a lot of pressure on the staters to play big minutes and try to come back after the bench has blown a lead.

It starts with Redick, who is mired in one of the worst shooting slumps of his career.

New Orleans Pelicans: J.J. Redick is slumping at the wrong time

Redick, a career 41.6 percent 3-point shooter, is shooting just 29.2 percent after the first four games of the season.

Every shooter goes through a slump, even Redick, who is one of the best 3-point shooters of all time. After hitting 6-of-11 from 3-point range in the first game and having a +10 plus/minus, Redick has gone 1-for-13 in the last three for a team-worst -54 plus/minus.

This slump came at the worst possible time, as just about everyone else is shooting bricks as well. Lonzo Ball and Eric Bledsoe are both shooting 28.6 percent,  Melli is shooting 14.3 percent and no one else outside of Brandon Ingram is even shooting league average.

The New Orleans Pelicans can’t count on Melli to turn it around, but veterans like Redick and Bledsoe have proven they can get it done in the past and need to start doing it now.

The Pels’ bench is going to struggle to score as long as Redick isn’t hitting shots, which may force Stan Van Gundy to make some changes.

The easiest change would be for Redick to start doing what he’s done his entire career, which is make 3-pointers, and it starts against Oklahoma City.

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