While the Atlanta Hawks’ 2021 postseason run opened many basketball fans’ eyes of what has been built in the capital of the South, the casual NBA fan still hasn’t seen one thing basketball fiends around the city look forward to most: the wing duo of Cam Reddish and De’Andre Hunter.
Hunter has been dubbed the Hawks’ most consistent player and the team’s second-best player before his right knee injury on Jan. 29 against the Washington Wizards. At the time of the injury, he averaged 17.2 points per game, good enough for second on the team as he received NBA All-Star consideration. The right knee discomfort turned into meniscus surgery, which led to Hunter missing 24 consecutive regular season games. After he returned to the team at the end of the regular season and for the duration of the first round playoff series against the New York Knicks, Hunter was shut down for the season to get another procedure done on his right knee.
Meanwhile, Reddish, who ended the 2019-20 season strong, missed four months of his sophomore season with an Achilles injury. Reddish returned from his extended absence in the Eastern Conference Finals and his play immediately stood out. In three of the four conference finals games he played, he went +5, +1 and +4. In the final game of the season, Reddish shot 6-of-7 from three-point range and scored 21 points.
Scoring is just the sweetener for Hawks’ fans when thinking of the ceiling of Reddish and Hunter playing together, as the sophomore duo are also Atlanta’s two best perimeter defenders.
“I don’t even think there is a ceiling to be honest with you,” Reddish said in his exit interview with the media. “I think it can go as far as we take it, but I don’t think there’s a limit to this at all.”
While injuries dampened seeing the duo play together for an extended period of time in their second NBA season, Reddish said there was no surprise of how good the two 2019 lottery picks looked in spurts this past year.
“It’s been good to see,” Reddish said. “It’s not like we didn’t know it about each other, but it’s definitely good to see play out in real life.”
The two Philadelphia-area natives are entering the third season of their rookie contracts next season.