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Ball Don't Lie

J.J. Redick claims that he hasn’t spoken to Bucks coach Jim Boylan since the playoffs began

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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J.J. Redick prepares to not talk to Jim Boylan on Tuesday (Getty Images)

When the Milwaukee Bucks traded for J.J. Redick during February’s trade deadline, it seemed like a salvageable enough move for both sides. Yes, the Bucks were giving up solid young forward Tobias Harris for a veteran in his prime who could leave the team as a free agent in July, but Redick boasted the potential to act as a competent shooter and playmaker for a Bucks team that could use the spacing. And J.J. could work as a solid enough addition as a potential re-signee should the Bucks either rebuild this summer, or keep this middling core.

Yeah, there’s no way Redick is re-signing now. Not with the way he’s been treated by interim Bucks head coach Jim Boylan. After Boylan pointed out before Milwaukee’s Game 3 loss that “as a shooter you’ve just got to keep shooting” in reference to the struggling Redick, Charles Gardner of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel relayed Boylan’s talks about confidence to Redick in the Buck locker room (via PBT):

Bucks coach Jim Boylan said in his pregame remarks that he told Redick to shoot with confidence but Redick disputed that.

"Jim never talked to me," Redick said. "He didn't say anything to me. I haven't spoken to him during the playoffs. I did not get that message.

"I don't need anybody telling me to be confident. I would have appreciated it.

"It wasn't a matter of Jim or my dad or my wife or God saying be confident.

"Be on the court, take your shots. They'll be there."

The playoffs started last Saturday, Milwaukee’s first game was on Sunday, and these quotes were from Thursday evening. That’s … that’s not good.

It’s true that Boylan may not be long for Milwaukee, and that his last game as Bucks coach could be on Sunday during the fourth game of a series Miami holds a 3-0 lead in, but this doesn’t speak well of the Bucks organization in the slightest. Even if the Bucks bring in a coach that Redick is a great fan of this summer, a culture that keeps a spate of silence between the coaching staff and its top new acquisition can tend to rankle and eventual shift interest when it comes to free agent bids.

I understand that this is Redick we’re talking about, and not some franchise-shifting star, but these things are worth considering as the Bucks take to what could be a volatile offseason.

Redick (who averaged nearly 29 minutes per contest as a Buck following the trade deadline) played just under eight minutes in his team’s loss to Miami on Tuesday, making his only look from the field after a rough 1 for 6 shooting performance (in only 16 minutes) against Miami in Game 1. Following the Journal-Sentinel-delivered pep talk on Thursday, Redick’s minutes jumped all the way up to 17 in Thursday’s loss to Miami, but he was on the bench for the final 10 minutes of the pivotal contest.

Again, it’s Redick — not a major star worth coddling. And his numbers during the playoffs (over 40 minutes played, 19 points on 6-14 shooting, four assists, five turnovers and six fouls) aren’t boffo. But you can’t mention talking to a player about his confidence to the media without talking to a player about his confidence, first.

The Bucks’ season could end on Sunday night. I’m not entirely sure I’m going to recommend that you tune into the team’s final 48 minutes.

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