MEMPHIS — Cam Reddish got a surprise chance at the rotation and took full advantage.
The young wing not only scored 22 points in just 28 minutes of Wednesday’s defeat to the Grizzlies, he nailed a game-tying trey to send the game into OT.
“Let me say it like this: I know what I can do,” Reddish said, “I wanted to make sure I still got it.”
Acquired last season for a first-round pick, Reddish’s minutes were a hot topic during training camp because there was no path to playing time. It was no secret Tom Thibodeau favored Quentin Grimes’ defensive prowess, and the Knicks couldn’t agree on an extension for Reddish before Monday’s deadline.
But Grimes’ sore foot was more of an issue than the Knicks hoped. For the first time Wednesday, Thibodeau acknowledged a setback after Grimes logged 16 scoreless minutes in last week’s preseason finale.
Grimes said soreness returned over the weekend.
“I think I wasn’t really supposed to come back that early but it started feeling really good,” Grimes said. “I practiced two times before that and it was pain-free. And after the game it kind of flared up again and we’re being more cautious with it.”
Grimes said tests ruled out a fracture but showed inflammation and they’re managing the injury so it doesn’t turn into “something like” plantar fasciitis.
“They said it was kind of an overuse thing,” Grimes said. “Just being in the gym a lot. Coming back at night, going back to Houston [in the summer], working on it and working on it. Then Thibs had us in the [gym] for sure, working out. Overusing it, for sure. It was an overuse thing really.”
Reddish struggled in preseason amid Grimes’ absence, shooting just 21.4 % over four games while averaging 4.3 points in 15.3 minutes.
The season opener was a different story.
“Just getting more comfortable, get with my teammates, my teammates encouraging me throughout the game, Julius [Randle] telling me to be aggressive. That goes a long way,” Reddish said. Obviously, being traded mid-year is tough. New group of guys, new plays, new everything. Just trying to find my way, be aggressive, be assertive. I’m trying to make the right play.”
MITCH’S FOUL TROUBLE
Starting center Mitchell Robinson managed just 13 minutes in Memphis because he racked up fouls at an alarming rate.
“I got to be better,” he said. “Minor setback. I’m going to take full responsibility on that one.”
Newcomer Isaiah Hartenstein played well with the majority of time at center, contributing 16 points and eight boards in 40 minutes.
“I’m always going to play hard,” Hartenstein said. “That’s what I thought I brought to the game.”