Temper your expectations when the New York Knicks‘ newest wing Cam Reddish makes his debut Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Reddish is looking forward to playing for his new team after an up-and-down two-and-a-half season marred by injuries in Atlanta.
“I feel good. I would say 100 percent is pretty accurate,” Reddish told reporters after Saturday’s practice.
A right ankle sprain had kept Reddish from the Knicks’ last five games since the trade. But even though he is ready to make his Knicks debut, New York coach Tom Thibodeau doubled down on his earlier statement regarding Reddish’s playing time.
Wouldn't expect many minutes for Cam Reddish if he's available. Thibs said:
"We have a rotation so he has to be patient and work his way through that." https://t.co/Td4Wk08LJK
— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) January 22, 2022
Currently, the Knicks are stacked with wings. Evan Fournier and RJ Barrett are starting, while Alec Burks is a fixture, whether as a fill-in starter or one of the leaders of the second unit. Rookie Quentin Grimes has climbed up his way to the rotation, endearing himself to Thibodeau with his solid play on both ends of the floor.
Suffice it to say, Reddish will likely play less than the 23.4 minutes he averaged in Atlanta this season. It’s not the ideal situation Reddish had in mind when he sought a trade before the season. Nevertheless, Reddish had been saying all the right words — willing to work his butt off to earn whatever playing time he could get.
“[Thibodeau] is really competitive, intense competitor, detail-oriented. I’m still trying to learn. I really am. I’m still trying to figure it all out,” Reddish said.
Reddish’s size — a 6-foot-8 wing with a 7-1 wingspan — is something the Knicks don’t have. He can gobble big guards and smaller wings when he’s engaged defensively. Reddish’s size is decent against backup power forwards in a small-ball lineup. Obi Toppin is the Knicks’ backup four but Reddish offers a solid outside shooting. This season, Reddish is averaging 58.3 percent of his left corner 3, 34.8 percent from the right corner 3, and 34.0 percent from above the break 3.
Cam Reddish on playing for Tom Thibodeau:
"He's really competitive, intense competitor, detail-oriented. I'm still trying to learn, I really am. I'm still trying to figure it all out." pic.twitter.com/tro8RQAN7O
— Knicks Videos (@sny_knicks) January 22, 2022
But his pathway to a meaningful role under Thibodeau is by playing tough defense.
“Defense is instinctual, and I can do that naturally. But it’s just a little bit different [here] than it was in Atlanta. So, I’m just trying to learn that. The terminologies are different. Being able to talk and say the right thing on the floor defensively is a big thing,” Reddish said.
The Knicks have listed Reddish probable in the official NBA injury report, while Kemba Walker and Nerlens Noel, both nursing left knee soreness, are questionable.
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