Cam Reddish could not have been drafted into a better opportunity. A raw prospect with all the potential in the world, he joined a team that was willing to invest a plethora of minutes right away. Now, we are finally started to see the dividends from that experiment, something that may have taken a lot longer had he been picked by a more competitive squad.
Early on in the season, Reddish was being mocked by NBA fans all over Twitter and Reddit. But I am not sure what they expected right out of the gate from the Hawks’ 20-year-old project pick. Now, he is playing at a high level and showing that he has a legitimate chance to meet his full potential, a development that could end up putting this young Hawks core over the top.
Reddish began the season mired in a seemingly never-ending shooting slump, and you could tell it was affecting his confidence. He was hesitant almost every time he let the rock fly and stopped driving to the rim altogether. While he showcased defensive potential, it was nowhere near making up for his offensive woes, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little worrisome, especially watching the Hawks’ other rookie, De’Andre Hunter, thrive early on.
Reddish still has a long way to go, but little by little, he is shaping into a formidable NBA player. And while inconsistent, he has started to deliver big games, something that he may be able to do on a nightly basis in the long run. The eye test is clear as day, but the numbers paint an even better picture of his progression:
October: .209% FG, .056% 3PT
November: .32% FG, .279% 3PT
December: .359% FG, .310% 3PT
January: .379% FG, .410% 3PT
We all knew Reddish could shoot the rock. He’s done it as well as anyone since high school, but confidence is key with Cam, and he just looks like a much more comfortable player with each passing game. What hasn’t been talked about enough is his ability as a playmaker and to get to the rim. Both are areas in his game that he should be utilizing more often. And as his confidence grows, Reddish seems to be more willing to do other things on the offensive end besides shoot.
It is encouraging to see some development on this Hawks team finally. Trae Young’s ascent to superstardom has been well-documented, but now the supporting cast is beginning step up. Kevin Huerter is finally showing growth in year two after a sluggish start, mainly due to injuries. Cam Reddish looks to have turned the corner, and John Collins is finally back from his 25-game suspension. While many fans may be disappointed by the record, this season was always about the development of their young core. If Cam Reddish can continue in this direction, he has an opportunity to change a lot of minds about the trade with the Mavericks.
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