Cam Reddish wants to be known as 'one of the best two-way players' in the NBA

Sarah K. Spencer, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Basketball

Cam Reddish has had more than two and a half months to reflect on his rookie season, which the coronavirus pandemic cut short by 15 games when the NBA suspended play March 11.

Even with those remaining games outstanding, though, Reddish's first season as a professional felt like a long one, and managing the wear and tear that comes with it was one of the biggest lessons he learned in Year 1.

"It's pretty hectic, and the adjustment was a little crazy," Reddish said. "But that was one of the biggest things I picked up on, how long the season was. I had to really take care of my body, eat the right things, stuff like that. ... My entire life, I could pretty much just get up and go. And just play. But it's a really long season. The games are long, you've got back-to-backs, you're going from Miami to L.A., L.A. to Minnesota, it's craziness. But it's fun, once you get used to it, once you figure out your routine."

With the season on hiatus, the 6-foot-8 wing has been staying in his Atlanta apartment and working out using the equipment he has on hand and, of course, running hills with his 7-month-old dog Storm to get some cardio in there ("She's a handful," Reddish added). On Monday, he made his first trip to the Hawks' practice facility, which recently reopened now that shelter-in-place restrictions have eased.

It's looking more and more like the NBA's regular-season restart may omit teams, such as the Hawks, who are nearly eliminated from playoff contention, with ESPN reporting there's growing support among ownership to resume play for 22 out of 30 teams in a campus scenario at Disney World in Orlando, which offers the league a more controlled environment.

If Reddish's rookie season has indeed come to a close, he's emerged with plenty of game experience, shouldering ample responsibility as a first-year player and a member of the Hawks' "Core Five," and a clear goal moving forward.


"I definitely want to be known as one of the best two-way players," Reddish said.

General manager Travis Schlenk, for his part, has bragged on what Reddish showed on defense as a rookie: "He's got a chance to be one of the best defensive players in the league. ... His defensive versatility, being able to guard quicker point guards and kind of cover Trae (Young) on that end is going to be extremely important to us moving forward."

Reddish established an identity as a quality defender early on, which usually is a slower-to-develop skill for rookies. But his offense was erratic and his 3-point shot was nowhere to be found his first stretch in the league, shooting 5.6% on 3's in October and 27.9% in November; shooting 20.9% from the field in October, 32% in November and 35.9% in December.

Hawks coach Lloyd Pierce said in early November that Reddish was trying to "beat people with moves" instead of getting downhill and attacking the rim when his outside shot wasn't falling.


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