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Cam Reddish will start for Knicks against Pacers: More notes ahead of 2nd preseason game

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Cam Reddish New York Knicks
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 10: Cam Reddish #21 of the New York Knicks dribbles the ball in the second quarter against the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center on February 10, 2022 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

With shooting guard Evan Fournier resting on Friday, the Knicks will turn to Cam Reddish in the starting lineup. 

Despite leaving Tuesday’s game with a sprained ankle, Coach Tom Thibodeau said that the Knicks were confident in Reddish’s health ahead of Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers. 

“The good thing was that there was no swelling [on Tuesday], so we were encouraged by that,” said Thibodeau. “He felt like he could go, and he moved well this morning, and got cleared by the trainers, so we’ll see.”

This will be a huge opportunity for Cam Reddish, who came over to the Knicks in January for Kevin Knox and a 2022 first-round pick. Reddish was unable to get much going, playing only 14.4 minutes a game in 15 games with the Knicks due to health issues and an inability to crack a rotation of veteran players. 

“Last year he didn’t have the opportunity to be in training camp, so the big thing is the health piece, to be out there and play well,” explained Thibodeau. “We like his length, athleticism, and his long wing [span].”

All of those factors are aspects that differentiate Reddish from the smaller combo guards like Immanuel Quickly, Miles McBride, Derrick Rose, and Quentin Grimes, who also come off the bench this season. It’s also why there was optimism that Reddish would be a nice piece in the Knicks’ rotation and help spread the floor and complete that second unit.

However, in order to do that, “he’s gotta knock shots down,” said Thibodeau. “Knock shots down, play defense, create pace, move without the ball, help on defense, use his length, rebound the ball, get it out.” 

If Reddish is able to do that, he will be a vital piece of the team’s second unit, which really delivered on Tuesday night. That unit is led by Thibodeau’s other option to fill in the void in the starting lineup tonight: Immanuel Quickley. 

Knicks Second-Unit Success

“You know, I thought about both [in the starting lineup],” admitted Thibodeau, but I like what the second unit did [on Tuesday]. 

Two big things that the second unit did were run and defend. The second unit was responsible for 11 of the Knicks’ 14 steals against the Pistons on Tuesday, and the defensive effort led to numerous fast-break opportunities. 

I liked the grouping [of Quickley and Miles McBride] with Derrick [Rose],” said Thibodeau. “They sped the game up and played fast, and I liked that.” 

The Knicks will be looking for more of that from their second unit tonight since coach Thibodeau admitted that the team “never really got to that last year as much as we had it the year before.”

Immanuel Quickley’s Added Aggression

There has been a lot of discussion about Quickley’s offseason desire to add more muscle so that he could attack the basket more this season, but coach Thibodeau doesn’t seem to think the change will need to be that drastic for “Quick” to have success in the paint.

“He’s got an innate ability to draw fouls. He did that in college and, obviously, we’ve seen that here. I think he has gotten stronger, but he’s always been deceptively strong… I want him to get more to the floater. I think that’s a great shot for him, and that shot’s very difficult to defend.”

The continued evolution of Quickley’s game will likely lead to more minutes now that Alec Burks and Kemba Walker on no longer on the team. Thibodeau mentioned that he was impressed by Quickley’s playmaking and defense, and it’s the reason the coach views the former Kentucky guard as a versatile component of his rotation. 

“Quick can play with the starters, he can play with the bench. He can play on the ball, he can play off the ball. You just plug and play with him.”

Other Injury Updates

Jericho Sims will play tonight, but Quentin Grimes continues to nurse a foot injury, even though Thibodeau mentioned that he was running before practice and didn’t seem overly concerned with the guard’s recovery. 

For more Knicks coverage, visit amNY Sports

Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley dribbles up court during the second half against the Toronto Raptors, while Obi Toppin trails.
Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley dribbles upcourt during the second half against the Toronto Raptors, while Obi Toppin trails. Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

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