As Confidence Grows, Cam Reddish Notches Career-High 25 Points vs. Nets
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Story by: KL Chouinard
Trailing the Nets by 12 early in the fourth quarter, the Hawks needed a spark. On a sputtering possession with the shot clock winding down, Cam Reddish sprinted out of the corner, took a pass at the elbow, got his feet planted with a jump-shooter's rhythm, and shot a balanced three with a graceful follow-through.
For Reddish, though, the beautiful part is what happened next. His shoulders didn't slump. He didn't doubt himself. And he zipped back on defense with a pep in his step.
How did that confidence pay off? Reddish scored 10 points in the next two minutes. He hit a three on a curl that mirrored his previous miss. After corralling an offensive rebound, he stepped into a pullup 20-footer. Then he summoned 'oohs' and 'aahs' from the crowd at State Farm Arena with a pair of fast-break layups, both of which he finished with powerful step-through moves.
While the scoring outburst wasn't enough to pull the Hawks to a win, Reddish's career-high 25 points certainly showed what the 20-year-old can do when he plays with the momentum of a few early confidence-building moments.
“I was just in it tonight," Reddish said after the game. "I was feeling it from the jump when I hit my first two. I was just feeling confident throughout the entire game. My teammates were finding me for open shots and I was able to knock them down.”
Head coach Lloyd Pierce echoed the same sentiment.
“He scored his first five points on the first two shots and I think that helps with any player to see the ball go in the basket, to feel good about it. That was the best part: that it was from start to finish. There was really no drop off in terms of his aggression in his shot making. His points came in bunches and they came at different periods of the game, and for him to play consistently and score consistently all night was most impressive."
For the season, Reddish is averaging 8.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game while playing around 25 minutes per game. His previous career high was 17 points two weeks ago against an outstanding Milwaukee Bucks team. On a lot of nights, his rangy and effective perimeter defense is his best contribution. And while he had 3 steals against the Nets, the scoring outbursts that cropped up in multiple quarters were what stood out most.
To smooth over the bumps of a rookie season, Reddish has been studying extra film with the coaches. He noted that the film has helped him slow down some of the plays on which he used to rush, while also helping him identify the spots where he can best find openings to score.
Reddish has also been going back to the practice court at the Emory Sports Medicine Complex at night for some extra individual work with assistant coach Melvin Hunt.
"After practice, I go home and play with my dog a little bit and chill. Then I try to go back later that night and try to get some more shots up. I've been focusing on my balance – holding my follow-through and trying to be super detailed on my jump shot."
The additional attention to detail is paying off with improved footwork and results, and Reddish is poised to show why the team believes he can become an effective two-way player sooner than later.