JJ Redick quote from 2023 sheds light on how he might build his Lakers rotations

The Los Angeles Lakers won a championship in 2019-20. New head coach JJ Redick has made comments about what's gone wrong since that may indicate his philosophy.
Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers
Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers / Harry How/GettyImages

The Los Angeles Lakers are four years removed from winning a championship. Despite the high of reaching the 2023 Western Conference Finals, however, most agree that Los Angeles has moved away from what helped it win.

Recently hired Lakers head coach JJ Redick is as aware of that fact as anyone, and his past comments may indicate a return to the strategy that L.A. arguably never should've abandoned.

Redick has been tasked with maximizing the remainder of the Davis and James era, as well as developing a future beyond them. It's an unenviable task for a first-year head coach to take on, but the former Duke Blue Devils star seems to already know what the Lakers are doing wrong.

On a July 2023 episode of The Old Man & the Three, Redick criticized the Lakers for abandoning the strategy that helped Davis and James lead the team to a championship.

"You go back to 2020, they win the championship. 2021, good team, don’t get out of the first round. And they basically had built a team around LeBron and AD with 3-and-D guys, and then they went with non-shooters. And they did it again last offseason."

Suffice it to say, Redick is of the belief that the best way to help Davis and James lead the Lakers is to surround them with 3-and-D specialists.

Los Angeles finished the 2023-24 season ranked eighth in the NBA in three-point field goal percentage. Despite their elite efficiency, the Lakers were 24th in three-point field goals made and 28th in three-point field goals attempted.

Despite Los Angeles' reluctance to space the floor, Davis and James both finished in the top 10 in the Association in points in the paint per game.

Under Redick, widely regarded as one of the best shooters in NBA history, it stands to reason that the Lakers will better appreciate the value of the three-ball. Having players who are capable of knocking down shots and refusing to generate looks for them borders on unforgivable.

It's a major reason why the Lakers had to go through the Play-In Tournament just to reach the Playoffs—where they lost 4-1 to the Denver Nuggets.

Redick will be the fourth head coach of the James era, as well as the third since Davis was acquired. Frank Vogel led the Lakers to a championship and Darvin Ham guided the team to the Western Conference Finals, but they lasted a combined five seasons.

Redick will now look to learn from what went wrong and work hand-in-hand with general manager Rob Pelinka to create a sustainably competitive Lakers team.