The last image of the Magic's disappointing season was J.J. Redick with his hands on his head after his wide-open game-tying 3-pointer in Game Six missed. Orlando had another chance (blocked away by Josh Smith), but Redick's wide open 3-poitner was just a sign of how things were off in the first round loss to Atlanta.
The Magic could not buy a bucket. But there seemed to be no reason why Redick, the face of Better Basketball's shooting instructional video, would miss such a wide open shot.
Redick pretty bravely played the six postseason games through an abdominal injury that caused him to miss the final 17 games. Joel Glass confirmed to Zach McCann of the Orlando Sentinel and David Pingaloire of WKMG-CBS that Redick underwent successful abdominal surgery to repair the injury. It was originally reported it was a surgery to repair a sports hernia, but Glass later told McCann that it was to repair the ab muscle.
Either way... ouch.
Redick was working hard to come back in time for the playoffs after he tweaked the muscle on a closeout during a morning shootaround before the team played at Golden State. He and strength and conditioning coach Joe Rogowski even went to Vancouver for a consultation with the same doctor who saw Grant Hill when he had a sports hernia in 2006.
Redick showed no ill effects of his injury on the floor at least. It was his diving play that seemed to spark the Magic to a Game Two victory. But the statistics, and his average defense as Atlanta went to Jamal Crawford and Joe Johnson directly against him, showed Redick was not quite himself.
After averaging 10.1 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting from beyond the arc and a 53.8 percent effective field goal percentage, Redick posted 6.7 points per game on a paltry 1-for-15 shooting from beyond the arc (6.7 percent) and 36.9 percent effective field goal percentage. Redick was hardly the same player in the postseason. No one should use an injury as an excuse -- if you play, you are healthy -- but I am sure Redick would even admit that his abdomen was hurting him more than he let on.
Just think of all the things you need your abdomen and stomach for. If you workout at all you know how important your core is to exercising and basic movement. I am sure Redick was in a ton of pain just moving around if the injury was as bad as it seemed.
It certainly would effect his shot, is all I am saying.
Sports hernia is kind of a vague injury. According to WebMD it is caused by repetitive twisting and turning at high speed. What occurs in a sports hernia, from what I can tell, is there is a tear in the inguinal area, a natural passage between the muscles in the lower abdomen. Its symptoms are pain in the groin area. If you are a guy (and even if you are not) I do not have to tell you how constant pain and soreness in that area can hurt.
Redick may not have had a sports hernia but rather just a tear in one of his abdomen muscles. So instead of pain in his groin area he is feeling pain around his ribs and mid-body. Yeah, it would have been tough to play basketball with that kind of an injury.
Sometimes it can be solved by rest, sometimes surgery is needed to speed up recovery.
Redick opted for rest and felt comfortable enough to come back. But it was clear he was not right. He certainly was not up to game speed and was not playing at his best capacity. But the Magic definitely needed him out there in some capacity.
Unfortunately Redick could not deliver.
No doubt, he will work hard to be ready in October for training camp at 100 percent after this surgery early int he offseason.
Photo via DayLife.com.