Atlanta Hawks: Cam Reddish had a historic playoff debut

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Perhaps lost in all of the celebrating the Atlanta Hawks season that was, and Trae Young’s history-making run was second-year wing Cam Reddish making a little history of his own. It’s understandable with both Atlanta and Young receiving tons of national coverage and Reddish appearing in just four games.

But what an impactful four games it was from the former Duke Blue Devil, and his head coach had high praise. His performance was made even more impressive considering he sat out the final 42 games of the regular season and the first two series of the playoffs.

Reddish averaged 12.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. That includes 21 points on 58 percent shooting and was 6-of-7 from deep in Game 6 versus the Bucks.

That efficiency cements his place not just in Hawks history, but NBA history as well.

Atlanta Hawks forward Cam Reddish’s playoff debut was one for the ages and just adds to the excitement around this team

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Reddish shot 52.8 percent from the floor, 64.3 percent from three-point range (first among qualifiers), and 80 percent at the free-throw line.

He’s just the second player in Hawks history to average at least 12 points while slashing at least 50/60/80.

The other was big man Al Horford.

There had only been 20 such instances in NBA history before Reddish joined the ranks, and the names are quite impressive.

Among the notables are Derrick Rose, Karl Malone, Rick Smits, Reggie Miller, and some guy named Michael Jordan.

Also listed are celebrated playoff performers Raja Bell and Derrick Fisher.

Reddish is the youngest ever to make that list.

That just speaks to how much room he and the Hawks have to grow. They were among the younger bunches in the NBA this season and were by far the youngest in the Conference Finals.

One of the storylines from this postseason was Atlanta’s struggles from beyond the arc. It’s hard not to wonder how different things might have turned out with a healthy Reddish from the start. Not just for his work on offense either, as his two-way versatility was also on display.

After shaking off the rust in Game 2 in which he was a minus-11, he didn’t play in Game 3.

But in his final three postseason appearances, including his stellar Game 4, he was a plus-3.3, the best mark on the team. Adding his 1.5 steals per game to his offensive stats above reduces the list of peers to eight. He was also seventh on the team in minutes per game which is noteworthy after a four-month absence.

That’s why the Hawks getting healthy is the most important thing the Hawks can do to reach the NBA Finals in 2022. Reddish, along with De’Andre Hunter, and Bogdan Bogdanovic either had significant chunks of their postseason wiped out or were severely hindered.

With the offseason to get healthy and a less-condensed regular-season schedule, along with their own adjustments, it’s no wonder folks are so excited about Reddish’s and the Hawks future.

Next. Atlanta Hawks: Grading veteran Danilo Gallinari’s first season. dark

And while it was a small sample size from Reddish, it came in critical moments.