POP Season Preview: Reggie Bullock Looking to Stay Consistent
Reggie Bullock, acquired last season from the Phoenix Suns, along with Marcus Morris in a salary dump trade, looks like he could be yet another diamond in the rough that Stan Van Gundy has dug up. Bullock, selected 25th in the 2013 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Clippers, had never really gotten an opportunity to show what he could contribute to a team before the offseason trade that sent him to Detroit.
Bullock, known for his knock-down shooting in college at North Carolina, never found his stroke early in his career, shooting a mediocre 34% over his first 2 seasons with the Clippers. He didn’t make a 3-pointer over the entire 2014-15 season with Phoenix. Bullock was thrown into the offseason trade to clear cap space for the Suns, who were hoping to persuade top free agent forward LaMarcus Aldridge to join recently signed Tyson Chandler in the front court. Obviously this didn’t come to fruition, and the Suns have been trending downward since, albeit with young pieces like Devin Booker and Eric Bledsoe in tow.
Bullock struggled early in the season last year, losing his backup spot to first year guard Darrun Hilliard early in the year, when the Pistons did decide to stretch their rotation to ten. After the All-Star break, the sharpshooter showed exactly what Van Gundy wanted out of him, ending his season shooting nearly 41% from deep, after early struggles held him back. He stayed hot until the end of the season and helped Detroit push for their first playoff berth since 2009.
He was solid in the second half of the year, providing a scoring punch off the bench as well as consistent defense on the perimeter. He is 6’7, beautiful size for a shooting guard, which helps him be such a solid perimeter defender. He hustles, which always helps. Whenever he was on the court, he was always moving, which helped Detroit’s offense run much smoother. The stats don’t show how valuable Bullock was last year, as he averaged only 3.3 points, and 1.8 rebounds per game.
Bullock will look to lock up the backup shooting guard spot early on this year, which is his to lose. If he can stay consistent, and that’s a BIG if, he could work his way into a rotation regular and add a shooting punch to what could be a top-10 bench in the NBA this season. He’ll have to work for it though, as Stan Van Gundy usually likes to run with a 9-man rotation, which usually excluded Bullock last year. “The other Reggie” could be looking at a breakout year and maybe even earn himself a long-term deal with the Pistons later this year. But for now, he’ll have to grind every second he’s on the floor to keep the fans and the coaching staff satisfied.
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