As human beings we strive for perfectionism, even though we know we’ll never be perfect. January is the perfect time of the year where perfectionism hurts us the most. New year, new goals, new aspirations.
We work hard for the first, maybe second week of the year, and if it doesn’t go well from there we stop and continue to do the same thing we’ve done in months past. Perfectionism kills our confidence, our drive.
It didn’t kill Cam Reddish.
Reddish was deemed to be one of the best rookies in his draft class (well that’s what people on the outside said).
They said he’d come on the Hawks and make an immediate impact on offense, become a second playmaker to Trae Young, and be a solid defender with his length and size. All of those were wrong.
The Hawks have already proved to be a bad offensive team as a whole, but Reddish was one of the worst in the NBA. Before January, Reddish was shooting 37 percent from the field and 27 percent from three.
Driving to the rim was one of his recurring issues, and at times he looked like a deer in headlights. His shooting form from three was never consistent, and the coaching staff tried to tweak his mechanics to improve his shooting.
He showed flashes of what he could become when everything was going right, but he never gave out a steady dose to give the doubters hope.
You could say that Reddish was almost unplayable at times, and some worried if he’d ever find confidence in his game. Cam continued to believe in himself and knew that everything would come together sooner than later.
Coach Pierce believed it had been “bad luck” for the rookie. Reddish told Chris Kirschner from the Athletic, “I’m missing now, but I’m not going to miss forever.” He wasn’t lying.
In the month of January, we’ve seen a different Cam Reddish, a confident one at that. He’s been shooting 44 percent from the field and from three this month. In his last five games, he’s averaging 14.8 points and six rebounds.
Everything offensively has looked better from Reddish. His drives to the basket have been more controlled, and his shooting has been on point. He’s starting to look close to the rookie that everyone expected him to be.
The one thing that Reddish has been able to hang his hat on is his defense. Many thought he would be just a solid defender due to his stature, but he’s been great on that side of the ball and probably the best on the team.
Coach Pierce recently started to put him on the opposing team’s best offensive player throughout the game. Though his offense had not come along in the beginning of the season, his defense was the thing that has kept him on the court.
Early in January, Reddish showed all the intangibles he possessed against the Nets. He hit multiple threes, his drives to the lane were improved, and his defense was stifling with five steals. If it was any game that showed the embodiment of what Reddish could be in the league, it was that one.
With Reddish, it’s all about staying consistent now. The Hawks had the same problem with a certain player on the team during his rookie season last year. That player is now an All-Star starter and will play in a game that features the best players in the NBA.
It took Trae Young until after the All-Star break last season to get it going and show what kind of player he could be in this league. It looks like Reddish is coming along before the break this year, but it’s possible he can put it in another gear at some time.
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