Coming off an offseason in which they retained a majority of their key pieces, there weren’t a lot of rotation spots up for grabs for the Los Angeles Lakers this preseason.
One spot that was up in the air though was the backup shooting guard/wing spot, especially with Jarred Vanderbilt missing some time to begin the year. That spot seemed to come down to second-year player Max Christie, who is coming off a very impressive Summer League, and Cam Reddish, who is a former lottery pick that is still just 24 years of age but has bounced around the league a little.
So far, Reddish has been getting the minutes as he played 18 in the season opener against the Denver Nuggets and then 12 in the home opener against the Phoenix Suns while only got one minute of action in garbage time in the first game.
After practice on Saturday, Lakers head coach Darvin Ham explained why he has gone to Reddish over Christie to begin the year.
“Just his size. Max is a part of us, he’s gonna be a part of us for a long time to come. Still a young player, developing,” Ham said. “Cam having had more games under his belt, his size, athleticism, they’re both phenomenal basketball players but just wanted to get a look at what Cam can do at the outset of things.”
Reddish has been give tough defensive matchups in the first couple games, primarily guarding Jamal Murray and Kevin Durant. Ham has been pleased with what he’s seen from the 6’8 wing on both sides of the ball.
“I think he’s been solid. He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. He’s had some tough matchups that I feel like he has handled well. And offensively, he’s able to stretch the floor, he’s able to get offensive rebounds, he’s able to finish at the rim. Really does a good job playing within himself.
“I just want him to be Cam. He’s a guy that defends, defends multiple positions, smart basketball player, a lot of size on the perimeter, able to navegate screens defensively better than a lot of people I’ve seen. And again, he has a good 3-point shot and he’s athletic so he gets stuff done in the paint as well. Just want him to continue to buy into the system, which he has, and continue to be himself.”
Reddish himself also spoke with reporters after practice and evaluated how he has played through two games.
“I think I’ve done a decent job on defense,” Reddish said. “Still figuring out the whole offensive side of the ball. It’s completely different than what I’m used to. Defensively, I’ve been pretty solid.”
Reddish knows he’ll continue to get better on defense
Reddish also discussed the challenging defensive matchups he’s had and the standards he holds himself to on that end of the floor.
“I think I’ve done alright. I could do better. I’m gonna do better. Gonna do a lot better. I’ve been there, done that before. I’ve guarded the best players, when I was back in Atlanta and stuff like that. So, it’s not brand new to me. But I know I can control that side of the ball. So I’m gonna do that.”
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