NY Knicks: Reggie Bullock has quietly become a key role player for NY

Reggie Bullock, NY Knicks (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Reggie Bullock, NY Knicks (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /
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Reggie, Bullock, Julius Randle, NY Knicks
Reggie, Bullock, Julius Randle, NY Knicks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

Julius Randle and Reggie Bullock’s chemistry has done wonders for NY Knicks

If you watched the Knicks a season ago you’d be hard-pressed to find any semblance of chemistry between players on the court. So naturally, one of the nicest developments this season has been the connection on the hardwood.

There’s a real chemistry and connection between the players, perhaps none more so than Reggie Bullock and Julius Randle.

How many times this season have we seen Randle find Bullock open behind the three-point line?

It seems as though Randle is always looking for his sharpshooting wing, whether it be in transition, kicking out of the double team, or on the drive and dish – and Reggie does a fantastic job of moving off the ball to the right spots on the court where he knows Julius will find him.

To try and quantify the duo’s connection:

Bullock has made 92 catch & shoot threes on the season to date, of those threes, 56 have been assisted by Randle (per NBA Stats)… that’s a staggering 60.8%.

It’s also a remarkable improvement from a year ago in which only 7 of Bullock’s catch & shoot threes were assisted by Randle. Bullock did only play in 29 games last year, however, but that’s still a big difference year to year, and perhaps the best illustration of how far they have come.

A 60.8% rate of Randle assisting Reggie on catch & shoot three’s is a pretty incredible figure. How does that stack up against some of the best combos in this area in the league?

A few notes on the table above:

  • NBA stats doesn’t provide this exact data set in one place so I’ve had to do some manual calculations here myself.
  • What NBA stats does provide is the number of catch and shoot threes and also a number of a player’s three’s assisted on by specific teammates. So combine the two different sets of data and there you go.
  • The table above is primarily based on the earlier table I showed you about catch & shoot % for guard/wings with at least 150 attempts. I’ve also added Danny Green, Kevin Huerter, and Tim Hardaway Jr to the mix as they shoot a lot of catch-and-shoot three’s in their own right, albeit not at a high enough clip to make the earlier leaderboard.
  • I may have missed some player combinations from my table, but I’ve purposely left out the smaller sample sizes.

Any way you slice it, the chemistry between Reggie and Julius is on another level. The duo has seriously figured out how to play off one another this year and they’re certainly reaping the rewards.

Here are two plays from earlier games against Atlanta and then Orlando where you can evidently see how connected the duo are:

In both of those plays, Randle uses a subtle hand gesture to direct Bullock to get in position as the trailer where Randle quickly drops off to Bullock who is basically already in his shooting motion.

Poetry – That’s two teammates understanding each other’s games.

It’s a testament to both players who have put in the work and developed a real connection and understanding of one another games.

But while the 60.8% assist rate by Randle on Bullock threes is impressive, it does bring rise to one issue within the Knicks offense – the reliance on Randle as the sole playmaker.

Granted, he’s had an unbelievable year and his facilitating has been a joy to watch. But the lack of a real secondary playmaker, specifically at the Point Guard position, is evident. It’s also why that assist rate is so high in comparison to other combinations.