Tuesday , Mar , 09 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Points in the Paint

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) – Milwaukee’s Michael Redd played in the
first of what should be many All-Star Games this season.

Since he plays for the Bucks, Redd does not get the press or recognition that
he deserves. But the fact is that the first-time All-Star is an explosive
scorer that should be mentioned when talking about the top shooting guards in
the NBA.

Originally selected out of Ohio State by Milwaukee in the second round (43rd
pick overall) of the 2000 NBA Draft, Redd did not play much in his rookie
season.

In 2000-01, the Ohio State product appeared in just six games and averaged 2.2
points in about six minutes of action per game. The Bucks were a team that was
built around guards Ray Allen and Sam Cassell and forward Glenn Robinson.
Milwaukee made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals that season,
only to lose in seven games to the Philadelphia 76ers.

Redd’s playing time increased in his sophomore year in the league. He played
in 67 games, averaging 11.4 points in 21 minutes of action. With perennial
All-Star Allen on the squad, it was hard for Redd to get serious playing time.

The Bucks traded Allen, Kevin Ollie, Ronald Murray and draft considerations to
the Seattle SuperSonics for Gary Payton, who signed with the Lakers as a free
agent this past offseason, and Desmond Mason in February 2003. Even trading
Allen did not give Redd the big increase in playing time, as the-then head
coach George Karl went with a starting backcourt of Payton and Cassell, both
of whom are considered point guards.

Redd’s production continued to increase in the 2002-03 season, as he averaged
15.1 points while playing in all 82 of Milwaukee’s regular-season contests.
His playing time also increased to 28 minutes per game.

This past offseason, Milwaukee decided it was time to go in a different
direction, as it traded Cassell, who also made it to the All-Star Game for the
first time in his career, to Minnesota. The team also sent Robinson packing,
trading the forward to Philadelphia as part of a four-team deal.

When Redd was drafted by the Bucks, Allen, Cassell and Robinson were their
three top scorers. All three of them were now on different squads and Redd, by
the process of elimination, had become Milwaukee’s go-to guy.

Last offseason, the Bucks selected point guard T.J. Ford with the No. 8
overall pick in the 2003 draft. The hope is that with Ford and Redd Milwaukee
had its backcourt of the future. The Bucks also relieved head coach George
Karl of duties and replaced him with Terry Porter, who decided to run his
offense around the explosiveness of Redd

The 24-year-old Redd has been up to the challenge. In 63 games this season,
the first-time All-Star has led the Bucks in scoring (22.0 ppg) and averages a
team-high 37 minutes per night. Redd has scored in double digits 62 times
this season and has reached a new-career high of 40 points twice.

Coaches around the league have noticed Redd’s abilities, as he was rewarded
with a spot as a reserve on the Eastern Conference All-Star squad in the
February 15th contest, which was played at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Along with forwards Mason and Keith Van Horn, who was acquired at the trade
deadline from New York in a three-team deal that saw Tim Thomas go to the
Knicks, Redd helps makeup a formidable threesome that could do some damage in
the Eastern Conference for years to come.

When one thinks about the top scoring guards in the NBA, names like Kobe
Bryant, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady and Paul Pierce come to mind. It is time
to start putting Redd’s name in the same sentence with them, as he is a
talented star that simply plays for a small market team.