SAN FRANCISCO — Cam Reddish drew one of the hardest assignments in the NBA, if not the hardest, and he had a sore groin to prove it.
The Knicks forward, who chased around Steph Curry during Friday night’s 111-101 loss to the Warriors, felt the injury worsen gradually before it kept him out of the fourth quarter.
“I was competing against the greatest ever, to be honest. It was fun. Tough, too,” Reddish said. “He’s non stop moving. That’s probably why my groin is hurting.”
Curry was typically fantastic against the Knicks, a whirl of movement and quick-release 3-pointers that had the Knicks scrambling on defense. Reddish, whose length and athleticism makes him a better option to guard Curry than Jalen Brunson, was among the primary chasers Friday night. Holding Curry to 24 points in 34 minutes can be considered a tiny victory.
Still, Reddish’s injury brings uncertainty to his playing status, with the 23-year-old unsure about Sunday’s game against the Suns.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Reddish said. “I just know my groin is sore right now.”
Reddish said he tore the same groin while playing for Duke and he underwent surgery before the 2019 draft. The good news is the injury sustained Friday night isn’t nearly as painful.
“I couldn’t walk when I tore it,” he said, “I’m all good now.”
Reddish, who had 11 points with two steals against the Warriors, has emerged from the fringe of Tom Thibodeau’s rotation to the starting shooting guard, supplanting Evan Fournier and Quentin Grimes.
He took something else from guarding Curry, beyond the sore groin – a lesson in the importance of fitness.
“I would just say his conditioning is through the roof,” Reddish said. “To be able to run around like that and just shoot, and get to the rim and get fouled. I think if I can get my conditioning to a level like that over time — it won’t happen tomorrow — if I can get my conditioning to that, it will go a long way.”
If Reddish is unavailable, the Phoenix game Sunday could mark the return of regular minutes to Grimes, who has been removed from the rotation after a lengthy recovery from a sore foot.
Grimes, the 25th overall pick in 2021, had consecutive DNPs before logging two minutes of garbage time in Golden State. Derrick Rose, another backup guard, has been underwhelming this season.