Cam Reddish earns solid minutes in crucial Knicks win over Warriors

On the day he almost got traded, Cam Reddish showed promising signs that perhaps he’s a keeper.

Reddish scored 12 points off the bench and did plenty of other things to help the New York Knicks score an upset win over the Golden State Warriors Thursday night at Chase Center in San Francisco.

Reddish hit 4 of 8 from the field, and his crucial free throw with 6.2 seconds left was enough as a buffer to stave off the Warriors’ late rally. He added three assists and two steals in 19 minutes of play — easily his best game since the Knicks acquired him last month for a future first-round pick and Kevin Knox.

Oozing with potential, the 6-foot-8 Reddish was reportedly pursued by the Los Angeles Lakers a few hours before Thursday’s deadline. But the deal did not push through after the Toronto Raptors, and the Knicks couldn’t agree on the draft compensations, per The Athletic. Alec Burks, who was also solid with 15 points, six rebounds, and five assists off the bench, should also have been part of the foiled three-team trade.

Luckily for the Knicks, the deal fell through.

Reddish got an extended run with RJ Barrett out due to an ankle injury. Reddish didn’t disappoint.

“Cam has been terrific, and we knew when we made the trade that there was a logjam, but his attitude has been terrific, and that’s what I go by,” New York coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters after the game.

“He’s going to play based on performance. It’s how you practice that’s important, it’s how you conduct yourself that’s important, and you get what you earn. That’s for everyone.”

 

Thibodeau referenced rookie Quentin Grimes’ rise from the end of the bench to a borderline starter as the Knicks navigated COVID-19 and injuries in a challenging sequel to their surprising playoff run.

Grimes produced only six points and three rebounds in his third career start, but he offered a lot of intangibles that Thibodeau liked.

“That’s why Quentin’s (Grimes) in there, started off with Quentin and the way he practiced, and then when he got his opportunity, he played great for us. He plays tough on every possession,” Thibodeau said.

Reddish played exactly like that as he competed on both ends of the floor, although there were a couple of times he got caught on switches. But overall, his solid play inspired the Knicks’ bench.

The Knicks improved to 25-31, snapping a four-game losing skid that coincided with their bench’s poor play. For the first time in their last five games, their second unit outscored their counterparts. The Knicks was +22 (45-23) in bench scoring against the Warriors. And Reddish was a big part of that.

“To win in this league, you have to have competitiveness. That’s a big part of it,” Thibodeau said. “I don’t buy into like the thing about potential and all that. You get what you earn in this league.”

Reddish certainly earned those 19 solid minutes, and there could be more coming.

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