Cam Reddish returns to action for Hawks

For the first time since Feb. 21, Cam Reddish played 5-on-5 basketball.

Those minutes happened to come in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals.

Considering the degree of the Hawks’ 125-91 blowout loss to the Bucks on Friday night, though, he entered into a relatively low-stress situation. Reddish, sidelined for four-plus months with right Achilles soreness, finally returned to action.

“It felt good,” Reddish said. “I was excited to get back out there. Obviously it felt a little bit weird at first, but as the game went on, got better, got more comfortable. I’m looking forward to getting on to the next game.”

Reddish first subbed in with the Hawks down 15 in the second quarter. He finished with 11 points and two rebounds in 17 minutes of play.

As a team, the Hawks looked rough in the lopsided loss (which tied the series at 1-1), but one positive takeaway was Reddish, one of the team’s best defenders, getting back on the floor. The Hawks have missed his defense, especially on the perimeter, even if he was struggling with his shot big-time before his injury (36.5% from the field, 26.2% from 3-point range).

It’s not clear exactly what his role will be throughout the series, but Reddish getting healthy is certainly a positive for the Hawks, even if he won’t play a ton right away. The goal of Reddish playing Friday night simply was to get him some minutes after such a long layoff, Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan said.

“Basically it was an opportunity to get him some minutes (Friday). … It’s really tough to throw a guy out there in a situation like he’s been put in,” McMillan said on how he’ll use Reddish moving forward. “But we’ll see. He’s available. If there’s an opportunity to put him out there, and we feel that he can help us, we’ll do so.”

Achilles injuries can be tricky, and Reddish’s was curious since it was a slower burn. He played through the Achilles soreness for a while before that came to a halt in late February.

“I was playing with it for a little while, but I was kind of just like, it is what it is,” Reddish said. “I played through a lot of different things. I didn’t think too much of it. It got worse, so I had to take the precautions. … I’ve had some frustrating days. But it’s all a process, and I’m just trying to trust that process, trust the training staff and then just really go from there.

“I’m not trying to give it too much thought because you can think yourself into God-knows-what, so I’m just taking it day by day. I feel good right now, though.”

Reddish’s return probably was the only plus for the Hawks in Game 2, considering how the Bucks dominated.

“To be honest, that was the only positive thing tonight,” Trae Young said. “Getting to see Cam back and getting to see him on the court was awesome, and he played great. He was aggressive. So that was probably one of our only bright spot tonight.”