We’ve got a special guest in studio today in sometime contributor Ross Geiger. No, Ross did not go to Ohio State and he is not Michael Redd’s publicist. He’s just an optimist who still believes. And who knows, maybe he’ll be the one who is right on Redd. I’m not holding my breath, but it’s worth some consideration. Enjoy.
His role, his status, his future and his health is all uncertain, but folks find your calendars, because some time next February, Michael Redd will be back. And despite the doom and gloom that’s been predicted, it might not be all bad.
Redd has been gone, forgotten, and ignored by the majority of the NBA world. And there are plenty of good reasons for that. But, instead of talking about all the things Redd can’t do, let’s talk about his potential impact upon return to the Milwaukee Bucks next season. Laugh now, but Redd’s timetable could be key in helping increase the Bucks 2011 playoff chances. At the very least, he could help Corey Magette.
Throughout his entire 11-year career Maggette’s biggest problem has been the number of games he sits out due to injury each year. In fact, on average Maggette plays in just 64.5 games a year and is still searching for his first 80 game season.
There are many reasons why Maggette always struggles to stay healthy for an entire season. Most of those reasons are surprisingly positives in his overall game that makes him a key player for the Bucks. Maggette’s game is based around contact. His drives to the basket and the free throws that come as a result make Corey Maggette who he is. As a result of that, Maggette is annually among leaders in free throw attempts. Not only does that help him put up easy points on the scoreboard, but it also helps draw key players (specifically post players) into foul trouble.
So where does Redd come in?
As noted above, Maggette’s number of games player per season stands at 64.5 games heading into his 12th season. If Redd’s health continues to remain on schedule, he should be back in the proximity of the Bucks’ 60th game. With that being said and all things considered, Michael Redd can offer Scott Skiles the option of limiting Maggette’s minutes during the team’s final stretch of the season.
It’s a win-win situation for all three parties: Redd, Maggette, and the Bucks.
For Redd, it’s gives him his final opportunity to show the team what he has left to offer as they near the playoffs. If Redd has any intention on trying to play the following season, he’ll need to show the league that he still has something left to offer. Those last 20 games give him a chance to leave an impression on teams that may be interested in signing a veteran shooter next offseason, not to mention himself a chance at finding a off-the-bench role with the Bucks come time for the playoffs.
For Maggette, it relieves some pressure of his duties of producing points, allowing his minutes per game to drop off a bit. Those minutes on the pine can give his body some well-deserved rest from all the bumps, bruises, and beatings he’ll endure throughout the year. This potentially could be very key to Maggette’s impact when looking towards the Bucks playoff picture and they’ll for sure need him to be at the top of his game come time for the first round.
For the Bucks, it not only gives Skiles yet another option off the bench in Redd, but allows him to experiment with a variety of different lineups. Although many of the lineups will already be set in stone at this stage of the season, the Bucks have yet to see Michael Redd and John Salmons out on the floor at the same time.
Just some food for thought and a way to look at the bright side of Redd’s very late return date. At this point nobody’s counting down the days or counting upon a strong return from Redd. But for now, it’s just another bright side to consider alongside Redd’s big expiring contract coming off the books. So slow down all that 2011 free agency chatter involving Redd’s contract and focus on the task at hand. Let’s hope for a return that can help keep Maggette, a big key to the Bucks’ playoff chances, healthy for the 2011 NBA Playoffs.
Follow Ross Geiger on Twitter: @RossGeiger