Fans were eager to see the new-look Knicks take the court for their home opener on Thursday, but one player surprised during the overtime loss with a stellar performance: Cam Reddish.
Much of the attention this offseason was dedicated to newly-signed point guard Jalen Brunson, as well as RJ Barrett after his massive contract extension.
But when New York played their first game of the season against the Memphis Grizzlies, Reddish was the star of the game for the blue and orange team.
The 6’8” wingman came off the bench, but ended up playing a crucial 28 minutes, and scored 22 points on 9-15 shooting, including draining three important three pointers. He was also solid on the boards, and racked up five rebounds.
Beyond his stats, Reddish was critical during the stretch when the Knicks erased a 19-point deficit to force overtime against the star-studded Grizzlies.
He hit a game-tying three pointer with just three seconds remaining in regulation.
The first Mike Breen "BANG!" of the year belongs to Cam Reddish!
— RingerNBA (@ringernba) October 20, 2022
“I was really doing it for me, to prove it to myself,” Reddish said after the contest. “My teammates were encouraging me throughout the game,” Reddish said after the contest.
Head coach Tom Thibodeau heaped praise on Reddish’s all-around performance following the game, and highlighted the energy he brought to the floor.
“I think his defense got him going,” said Thibodeau. “His shot selection was good, he attacked the rim well, he got some easy buckets.
The 23-year-old swingman came to the Knicks last year, when he was traded mid-season from the Atlanta Hawks. He didn’t immediately live up to the hype during his first stint with New York, and ultimately missed a large portion of the season with a right shoulder injury.
“Obviously being traded midway is tough — a new group of guys, new everything,” he said of his last season.
But if his initial play this year is any indication, Reddish has found his footing in the Knicks locker room.
A big question may arise for the Knicks, though, if Reddish continues to play as well as he did, he may eat-up minutes from other players caught in the logjam of the depth chart.
As a swingman who can play small forward, or as an undersized power forward, Reddish is caught behind starters RJ Barrett and Julius Randle, and will battle for minutes with Obi Toppin and Quentin Grimes (who missed the opener with a foot injury).
Thibodeau’s rotations going forward will certainly be something fans should keep an eye on.