Injuries have forced head coach Tom Thibodeau to play the entirety of the New York Knicks youth, and it’s resulted in some of the best basketball they’ve played all season.
Their 113-96 win over the LA Clippers snapped a seven-game losing streak, after blowing consecutive double-digit leads against the Philadelphia 76ers and Phoenix Suns.
Furthermore, it satisfied the growing anguish amongst the Knicks fanbase, who’d been calling for more minutes for younger players as the season slipped away.
Those frustrations largely centered around wing Cam Reddish, who the team acquired mid-season for Kevin Knox and a first-round pick in a trade with the Atlanta Hawks.
And finally given the opportunity, the 21-year old showed just why he was worth the price tag, finishing the night with 17 points on seven shots and seven made free throws in 25 minutes.
14 of his points came in the fourth quarter, mind you.
His performance lead the New York Knicks to just their fourth win in seven weeks, and subsequently set the forums of Twitter ablaze during and after the victory.
Twitter Reacts to Reddish’s Performance
Nothing about the New York Knicks fanbase’s discussions online in recent weeks have been optimistic by any means.
But all of that came to a halt on Sunday night as Cam Reddish instilled a renewed hope for the remaining weeks, and beyond that, the future.
It seems that his 17 points on seven shots may have held more weight than even the team’s win, given the team’s all-but-confirmed fate as a non-playoff team this season.
The Knicks on MSG account kicked things off by dubbing Sunday night Reddish’s best game in a New York uniform:
Fan @mo77985514 is calling for no less than 30 minutes a night for the rest of the season for the 21-year old:
A larger role for Reddish was a widely-shared sentiment following the win:
While many, including @BigKnickEnergy_, opted to focus on more time together for Reddish and RJ Barrett:
Some took it a little further, comparing the potential of the aforementioned duo to some NBA greats:
Former teammate Solomon Hill simply posted a gif reaction to Reddish’s performance:
And even actor Ben Stiller chimed in with an endorsement for the youth:
Reddish is Extension Eligible This Summer
As fun as the discourse was in the moment, it’s important to remember that the New York Knicks only played Cam Reddish (amongst others) due to the lack of healthy bodies.
And that after investing in him via trade this season, the team only has 18 games remaining to evaluate him as a talent, before they’ll be posed with the question of investing in him long term.
Because as he’s entering the final offseason still on his rookie contract, that makes him extension eligible.
That’s a large part of why Reddish was so attainable this season, as he wanted a larger role elsewhere to help improve his odds of landing said extension.
So, now that fans (and the front office) have seen Cam Reddish on a larger minute diet, the next step is determining its sustainability, and how he fits alongside core pieces Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett.
It’ll be up to head coach Tom Thibodeau to ensure that happens.