Can the Knicks expect Cam Reddish to be a difference-maker?

The New York Knicks are coming off an embarrassing loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday night, courtesy of a disappearing act from power forward Julius Randle. Scoring just 91 points, Randle finished with four points, as Mitchell Robinson and RJ Barrett contributed 17 each, and the bench picked up the majority of the slack.

The Knicks have now lost three consecutive games against beatable teams, ending a three-game win streak they enjoyed earlier last week.

Based on Randle’s inconsistencies, the front office may have no choice but to maneuver at the trade deadline and acquire another talent. The Knicks lack a tested and reliable point guard with Derrick Rose rehabilitating from ankle surgery. They could still make a push for Jalen Brunson, but management is also excited about the return of Cam Reddish from his own ankle issue.

“Pretty close,’’ Thibs said on Thursday. “He’s moving around pretty good. Should be any day now.’’

Reddish made his way over from the Atlanta Hawks, averaging 11.9 points, 2.5 rebounds, and shooting 38% from beyond the arc this season. His growth as a natural scorer has been exciting to watch, but can the Knicks rely on him to be a difference-maker off the bench?

Head coach Tom Thibodeau was cautious about his impact early on, considering Reddish is still learning the system and developing chemistry with his new teammates off the court.

“Yeah, it’s hard to tell, because we haven’t gotten into a game,’’ Thibodeau said. “He’s learning what we’re doing, so that takes a little time. We love his size. He’s been terrific. He comes in early. He studies. He works hard. So, he’s doing all the right things, which is the first step.’’

The former Duke star is doing all the right things to prepare, but he will still have to fight for playing time. Considering how the Knicks are playing right now, it shouldn’t be too difficult for Cam to register minutes early.

Nonetheless, averaging 11.9 points and offering small forward contributions isn’t enough to catapult the Knicks into playoff contention.

The team already has talented players, they simply haven’t played together in cohesion. Rand;e has watched his shooting regress significantly compared to his All-Star performance last season, and the team’s defensive qualities have taken a hit. A clear lack of energy with rebounding and closing out shooters has doomed the Knicks at times, but Reddish can offer a bit more support as a 3-and-D player considering his improved shooting.

However, I wouldn’t expect Reddish to be the catalyst for a massive improvement, but if he can take some pressure off of rand;e and the rest of the starters, he will make an impact.

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