May 23, 2024

He’s entering his fifth season in the NBA and he’s yet to find his niche.

His new coach, Darvin Ham of the Lakers, says “it’s going to be defense — three-and-D.”

It is a role Cam Reddish said he’s willing to accept, but he feels as if he has more to offer.

But when the Lakers played the Clippers on Wednesday night at Crypto.com Arena, Reddish was asked to play defense, and more defense and more defense.

He was in the starting lineup because Taurean Prince was out with left knee soreness.

Reddish’s job was to defend Paul George and Kawhi Leonard, the top two weapons on the Clippers. And there were times when Reddish was asked to defend Clippers point guard Russell Westbrook, too.

During one sequence, Reddish was crouched and eyed the basketball as George dribbled. When George started to make his move, Reddish picked the ball away for a steal and passed it ahead to D’Angelo Russell, who scored even after George was called for goaltending.

Reddish’s effort had given the Lakers a little lift, forcing the Clippers to call a timeout with 8:04 left in the third and the Lakers down by nine points.

“That’s fun to me. I’m trying to get stops,” Reddish said. “I’m really trying to get steals and stuff like that, get myself going offensively, get locked into the game. To me it’s fun.”

In taking on those challenges, Reddish showed Ham that his 6-8 wing player has the potential to be a three-and-D player in the NBA.

“The kid is special. The only thing he needed was consistency,” Ham said. “Just a program that’s going to put their arms around him and encourage him to constantly get better, simplify things and he’ll respond in the right way, which he did tonight. He’s been awesome since he’s been an L.A. Laker.”

Reddish played 37 minutes, and he was just two for seven from the field and scored just eight points.

But it was his defense that was needed on this night, and Reddish delivered three steals and one block.

“I can do that, be a three-and-D player, but I bring more to the table,” Reddish said. “I can do that. But I got a lot of game, too.”

Here are three takeaways from the Lakers’ 130-125 overtime win over the Clippers.

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