The New York Knicks will continue to miss the services of second-year wing Quentin Grimes when they gun for a third straight win against the visiting Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.
The soreness of Grimes’ left foot flared up after a 16-minute scoreless stint in the Knicks’ final preseason game. He has been sidelined since then, and the Knicks are taking a cautious approach.
“[Grimes] did a little. Just some drill work and shooting.”Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau via Knicks
Grimes has to hurdle several on-court drills from zero to one up to five on five before he will be cleared to rejoin the team.
In his absence, Cam Reddish has seized the opportunity.
Reddish had become a vital part of the Knicks’ second unit, currently the league’s fourth-best in scoring (45.0 per game) and net rating (8.7).
The 23-year-old Reddish, who is set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, is averaging 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds and one steal in 20.3 minutes.
“It’s what a guy does in practice every day. You guys don’t see that, but obviously, we do. And so, we see the progress in practice. Usually, if you practice well, you’re gonna play well.”Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau via NY Post
It showed in Reddish’s play once the regular season began after a forgettable preseason.
Reddish racked up a season-high 22 points against Memphis on the opening night, followed by a combined 13-point output and a lot of intangibles in the Knicks’ two straight wins at home against Detroit and Orlando.
“He’s gotten a lot better offensively and defensively. And a big part of that is, I think, him getting comfortable with his teammates, his teammates getting comfortable with him. His attitude’s been great. Just keep working.”Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau via NY Post
After seeking a trade out of Atlanta for a bigger role, Reddish found himself in a much worse situation in New York when he arrived in January. But injuries opened up an opportunity for him. His first shot toward the end of last season was cut short by a shoulder injury.
He became an afterthought after his struggles in the preseason. But his opening night explosion restored his confidence, and Thibodeau’s trust grew along with it.
Without a clear timetable for Grimes’ recovery, Reddish will have plenty of time to establish himself in Thibodeau’s rotation.
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