Season Recap/Notes: Reggie Bullock

In case you missed it (which is very possible due to these coming at warp speed) here is Aron Baynes review.And you can follow the chain through to everyone else that you may have missed.

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Follow along with all the relevant stats on basketball reference.Any stats that are not readily available there will be linked to or otherwise noted.

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Quick disclaimer for this recap: Obviously Reggie Bullock played meaningful minutes for like 20 games this season, and those meaningful minutes were not very high minutes, and it was the most he had played in his career. So all stats and whatnot here comes with the asterisk of small sample size. Just so that I don't need to type that over and over again.

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The Good:

So Reggie Bullock might actually be a really good role player. For the first time in his career he finally showed the outside shooting that he displayed in college at UNC. Finishing the season shooting 41.5% from 3, and was especially deadly from the corners.The other interesting thing to look at with his shooting chart is that, (comparatively) he actually took quite a few shots at the rim. Almost all of his shots are either 3s or at the rim, which is a bit of an odd combination. The shots at the rim are courtesy of Bullock being an absolutely brilliant off ball cutter. And that leads into a larger thing that became pretty clear to me about Bullock back in the preseason,and that is that Reggie Bullock is just a super high IQ player. He makes really quick, and generally good, decisions whenever he is on the floor. When he gets the ball he either shoots it, passes it, or makes some sort of move to the hoop.Watch this highlight video and just notice how every single one of those, he never stands still with the ball. This is actually the main reason why I wanted him to play all season and why I think he will be a solid player for someone, (hopefully for the Pistons) because even if his shooting were to come down a ways (lets just say the league average of 35%) and he still helps your offense a ton because he is more than just a shooter. The other encouraging thing about his shooting is that a decent amount of his shots were quick hitters coming off of screens, which are difficult shots to hit, and the sort that give defenses nightmares when there is a guy on the floor who can hit them. All in all he looked like a wonderful offensive player, and towards the end of the season he was damn near the only thing keeping the bench mob even remotely afloat. (due to Stanley Johnson falling off a cliff around the same time.)

On defense, it is not as triumphant a story, but he is certainly a willing defender who plays hard and does not back down easily. Also a nice thing is that he is not a rebound chaser, if someone else looks like they have it, Bullock will just start running up the court. (Once again, high IQ)

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The Bad:

My man seemed to be pretty prone to horribly unluck stuff sometimes, even later in the season when it clicked for him. He would blow open layups, commit fouls on 3 point shooters, and get posterized like he was Brandon Knight almost. I don't know how much of that is bad luck and how much is him, but it has to be at least a little bit him.

Even though he is a willing defender, (and that is half the battle on defense) he is not a particularly good one. He is pretty skinny and is not a superb athlete. He is not bad by any stretch, but he is not going to ever be much better than an "ok" defender. The other real bad thing has to be that before the end of the season where it clicked, he looked pretty bad. Like wear hardhats in the courtside seats bad. I hate to be a body language doctor, but he seemed like nerves would get to him. Hopefully he has gotten over whatever it was that held him back, but there is still a lot more evidence that he can't get the ball in an NBA hoop than that he can.

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Biggest Answer?

He might actually be a really good role player. This is kind of cheating because it is not fully answered, but up until that end of the year stretch, he had not really shown any signs of being a competent NBA player (based off of his time playing in NBA games at least) and for the first time he had an extended stretch of games where he actually looked good. (Very good even.) This also (non coincidentally) was the first time that he had a real stretch of being in the rotation. So it was really fun to watch him do so well, and it was clear how good the rest of the team felt for him.

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Biggest Question?

The real biggest question is whether the small sample size can translate over a whole season, but that is pretty simple. Can he make the ball go in the hoop or not?

The more interesting question is the potential upshot for the rest of the rotation/roster. If Bullock is able to at least shoot respectably and generally play pretty close to the way he did to end the season, then Jodie Meeks becomes a useful veteran player on an expiring contract. (aka a decent trade chip, and the sort of guy who a contender would likely have some interest in due to Meeks being fairly easy to plug into a team) Also an interesting thing is that, if Bullock actually plays like he did (shoot over 40% from 3, be able to handle the ball a little, play decent defense etc.) then the Pistons would have some real insurance for if someone makes a monster offer sheet to KCP in the offseason, and during the season, if KCP continues to struggle with his shot, there would be a real argument for Bullock to take serious minutes from him. (If not start over him.) The happier ending for this story line is of course KCP figuring out his offense a bit and the Pistons resigning both KCP and Bullock to reasonable contracts (whatever that will be with the new cap) and the Pistons have a really good pair of young SGs. Either way, the Pistons (currently) have 4 dudes who are SGs on the roster + Stanley Johnson who can play SG. And 3 of them will be free agents after next year, (KCP and Bullock are restricted) so the Pistons might need to make some tough choices on that front, and a lot will depend on how Bullock plays. (Also, if Bullock plays well he could be the valuable trade chip as well.)

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What do you think? Think Bullock can shoot 40% from 3 again? How do you think the SG situation will play out? Let me know! We all get smarter!