Atlanta Hawks interim head coach Nate McMillan praised small forward Cam Reddish on Saturday, telling reporters that he sees "a lot of Paul George" in the 21-year-old following his team's 118-107 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, who defeated Atlanta four games to two in the Eastern Conference Finals series.
The former Duke Blue Devil, who Atlanta selected 10th overall in the 2019 NBA draft, scored a game-high 21 points and hit six three-pointers. He helped the Hawks, who were trailing by 22 points early in the fourth quarter, cut the Bucks' lead to as low as six points.
George is a seven-time All-Star, six-time All-NBA member and four-time All-Defensive Team player who averaged 23.3 points, 6.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the Los Angeles Clippers this season.
Defense isn't much of an issue for Reddish. As McClain Baxley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote, Reddish "quickly became one of the Hawks’ better defenders with his size and athletic ability" this season. However, he missed four months with a right Achilles injury that kept him off the court until the Bucks series.
That didn't stop Reddish from a great defensive effort in Game 4, as he helped slow down Bucks star forward Khris Middleton, who shot just 10-of-22 from the field.
“Cam came in tonight and had a solid night for us, a really good night,” Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan said, per Baxley.
“He has length, and he takes pride in defending. He’s one of the few guys in this league that actually—that’s his game. That’s where he draws his energy from. It’s not so much the offensive end of the floor. He comes out from the start wanting to play defense.”
Reddish had six steals in four playoff games for the Hawks.
His offensive game is a work in progress. Reddish averaged 11.2 points per game on just 36.5 percent shooting. He also hit just 26.2 percent of his three-pointers.
However, Reddish showcased what he's capable of Saturday with his long-range efforts, and he was arguably the best player on the court.
He's an intriguing player to watch next year for the Hawks, who look like they'll be hanging around the playoff picture long-term after a fantastic season.