For a number of reasons, Cam Reddish’s debut with the Lakers this preseason was suboptimal. For one, he struggled in his brief time on the court, missing all four of his field goals and turning the ball over three times.
Even worse, a sprained ankle took him out of that game and left him sidelined for the next week.
When he returned to the court on Sunday, things went much, much better for him. Afforded a larger opportunity with a whole host of Lakers on the bench, Reddish took advantage, scoring 10 points with five rebounds in 21 minutes in the Lakers’ loss to the Bucks.
It certainly wasn’t a perfect performance as he finished 4-11 from the field and tallied five fouls as well. But it was a step in the right direction after both an injury and a frustrating first outing.
“A lot more comfortable,” Reddish said postgame on how he felt on Sunday. “Even when I was playing defense, I got my teammates supporting me, yelling at me, telling me to keep going because I’m still trying to get back into game shape. It’s been great so far. I’m learning my teammates, my coaches, the plays.”
Reddish’s performance was notable not just for statistical reasons, though. There were hustle plays. He competed defensively. He did the little things that don’t show up in the box score but could earn him minutes moving forward.
“Man, Cam looked great,” head coach Darvin Ham said postgame. “He’s out there gassed a little bit, which is to be expected. But he’s another high-level player, skilled player, can shoot it, can guard, really competes on that side of the ball, the defensive side of the ball, able to handle, get downhill, finish. It was good to see him out there tonight giving contributions and look forward to seeing more of them.”
Eventually, the stats will have to, at the very least, come closer to matching his impact on the court. While shooting 4-11 is fine in the second preseason game, it might not be as willingly overlooked later in the season. But Reddish is doing the things needed to continue to earn minutes at the very least.
The Lakers have a growing list of young players who have used the franchise as a place to revitalize their careers and springboard onto bigger things. Reddish is primed to be that next player and if he continues to get more comfortable, it could spell good things for both him and the franchise.
You can follow Jacob on Twitter at @JacobRude.