Darvin Ham Speaks To Why Cam Reddish Has Made Most Of Opportunity With Lakers
Darvin Ham, Cam Reddish, Lakers
Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into this season, one of the main things Los Angeles Lakers head coach Darvin Ham had to do was figure out the ideal rotation for his team with so many players looking for minutes. One player who has seen his role grow recently is wing Cam Reddish.

Initially, it seemed like Reddish would not be in the rotation at all, but he now finds himself in the starting lineup and has been excellent. Reddish finished with 18 points, seven rebounds and three steals in the Lakers’ win over the Portland Trail Blazers and Ham praised the wing for everything he’s done over the past two contests as a starter.

“I mean, for right now, I just think he’s comfortable with the group, and he’s making plays because he’s not forcing anything,” Ham said after Sunday’s win. “He’s obviously shot the ball well, he’s playing downhill. In these recent two games, he’s guarded tough matchups, he’s rebounded, so it’s he just, he’s another Swiss army knife that doesn’t require touches necessarily but just gets all of his looks in the flow.”

What has also been noticeable for Reddish has been his defense. Known primarily for his scoring ability coming into this year, Reddish has been solid defensively as well, notching three steals in each of the last three games and leading the Lakers in total steals so far this season.

“He has a knack for it,” Ham said of Reddish’s ability to get steals. “You have to have the natural things like that. Like the way he baits guys into making passes. His length, his quickness, his athleticism. Even some of the balls he and Taurean [Prince] track down, and they’re able to save it before it goes out of bounds…Cam, that’s the thing about him. He’s so multifaceted defensively in terms of again, his length. The quickness of his hands. His ability to navigate screens. Not get hit. He was huge tonight.”

The talent of Reddish has never been in question, but he has struggled with consistency throughout his career in stops with the Atlanta Hawks, New York Knicks and Trail Blazers. Sometimes, however, it just takes a player being in the right situation with the right opportunity and Ham feels Reddish is getting that with these Lakers.

“And I just think the biggest thing he needed was some stability and an opportunity, a consistent opportunity…Unfortunately, opportunities sometimes they dry up quick when you move around, and you’re traded from place to place, but the one thing we wanted to provide for him here was just some really good coaching player development wise, some high IQ guys around him.

“That’s all of my staff that’s pouring all of that in high IQ guys within the locker room, his teammates. And again, just try to give him an opportunity and then just let them know no matter what, we love him. Compete at a high level, and don’t worry about the rest. I told him the only two mistakes he can make with me is not play hard and not have fun.”

Thankfully, Reddish is doing just that and taking complete advantage of the chances he is getting under Ham and the Lakers have been benefitting from everything he is bringing.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham praises Cam Reddish’s ability to get through screens defensively

Not only has Reddish thrived offensively with the Lakers, but defensively as well. And what has stood out to Ham on that end of the court is his ability to get through screens, something that many in the league struggle to do.

“His ability to navigate screens,” Ham said when asked what stands out most about Reddish’s defense. “With how skilled the guards are in our league now, it’s a guard-heavy, perimeter-heavy league with some highly elite players at those positions from 1-3 and some fours with Bron and guys like that.

“So his ability to navigate the screens on and off the ball at his size. He has great hands as well, I believe he finished with three steals as well last game. But just his elusiveness guarding the ball and being able to stay in front of guys.”

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