NY Knicks: Why Reggie Bullock will be crucial to the Knicks’ playoff success

Reggie Bullock, NY Knicks (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Reggie Bullock, NY Knicks (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) /

With the NY Knicks in the playoffs for the first time since 2013 this week, all attention will be on Julius Randle.

The All-Star finished the regular season averaging 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 6 assists and is getting All-NBA nods as well as being a shoo-in for Most Improved Player of the Year.

There’s no doubt Randle will be the primary focus for the Hawks defensively after he averaged 37 points in his three games against them.

With all that attention being shown to Randle, it will give other players the chance to get open looks and score.

One player whose performances will be crucial to the Knicks’ success in the playoffs is Reggie Bullock.

Bullock has grown into an important member of the starting five this season with his defense and a lethal three-point shot, which he is never afraid to take.

This season, Bullock has shot 41% from beyond the arc on over six attempts per game. Bullock’s confidence has grown even more in recent months as has his scoring.

In the last 12 games of the season, Bullock averaged 15 points with the majority of his shots coming from three in each of those games. He also shot over 40% from the field in nine of those 12 games.

Reggie Bullock’s impact can determine the fate of the NY Knicks

Bullock’s shooting prowess, down the stretch especially, played a major factor in the Knicks finishing the season on an 8-4 run.

I expect it to become even more important in the playoffs.

As mentioned earlier, Julius Randle will be targeted by the Hawks on defense with double-teams likely to come at him all game long.

Once Randle is double-teamed, he’ll need to pass the ball out and the Knicks’ three-point shooting will become very important.

Reggie Bullock has arguably been the Knicks’ best three-point shooter as of late and he also happens to be Randle’s favorite target.

Randle has assisted Bullock 117 times this season, good for the 9th best assist duo in the league. Just about 75% of those assists have been on Reggie Bullock three-pointers.

The Randle-Bullock connection will have to be clicking if the Knicks aim to go far in the playoffs.

The Hawks ranked third in the NBA in opponent three-point percentage this season so three-point shooting will be a deciding factor in the Knicks first series.

This season, Bullock has been cold from deep and is top-30 in the NBA in three-pointers made with 163.

Of his 163 made threes in the regular season, 97% of them were assisted, the majority of which by Julius Randle.

Against the Hawks specifically, Reggie has shot 44% from three with 93% of his shots being assisted.

He’s a fierce spot-up shooter and when he shoots the ball well, the Knicks usually win.

If Bullock continues to fire the ball in from deep as he has been lately, New York will be a tough team to contest during the playoffs.

His connection with Julius Randle will also be something to watch for against Atlanta.

If the Hawks defense isn’t careful, Randle will turn every double team into a three-point opportunity for one of his teammates, with Bullock being the greatest beneficiary.

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