Atlanta Hawks: How Cam Reddish can become a starter this season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

At the start of last season, ex Atlanta Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce was unsure of who he should start alongside Trae Young. He tried Bogdan Bogdanovic who struggled with his shot. He also tried Cam Reddish who had a shooting slump at the start of the season as well.

Then the injuries started to mount up at the wing position. Tony Snell had started the season out with an injury, Bogdanovic fractured his kneecap, De’Andre Hunter went down with his knee issue, and then Reddish went down with his Achilles soreness.

When the Hawks moved on from Pierce and promoted Nate McMillan into the head coaching role, Bogdanovic came back and was like a gift for the new coach. What Bogdanovic did for the remainder of the season was make the position his own. He was a lights-out shooter who worked really hard on defense.

How can Cam Reddish break into the Atlanta Hawks starting lineup?

There are a number of answers to this question and the first one is right in Reddish’s wheelhouse, to defend at a high level. There is no question that Reddish is a much better defender than Bogdanovic, to put it simply, he is the best defender on the team.

However, as we saw last season with Kris Dunn, tremendous defense is not enough. If you are defending at a high level but you are a liability on the offensive end, then it is unlikely that you will get a game with this Hawks squad.

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Fortunately for Reddish, he is not a liability on offense. He can shoot the ball very well from the perimeter, just watch his first playoff game if you don’t believe me. This is the second answer to the question, to improve on his perimeter shooting. It is unlikely that he will shoot better than Bogdanovic but getting nearer to him may help Reddish displace him as a starter.