At the drive-thru window, they confuse him for Tyreke Evans. From the neck down, though, he more closely resembles Jimmy Butler. Reggie Bullock‘s impact on the Los Angeles Clippers, however, is still a bit hazy. In fact, so is his height. Listed at 6-foot-7, Reggie comes across as slightly undersized for the three-spot (NBA height listings are infamously generous). But, assuming J.J. Redick returns this year, the Clippers don’t need another shooting guard. They need a consistent option at small forward.
After a week’s worth of rumors, namely one sending him to the New York Knicks, Bullock must resist the urge to sit back and exhale for the rest of the season – Doc Rivers needs him to be a contributor right now. This was evidenced on Sunday, as the first-half buzzer sounded and everyone headed to the locker room. Everyone but Doc. He pulled his rookie to the side and gave him a brief but stern lesson in offensive execution. That spoke volumes about not only what Rivers sees in Bullock, but also what he needs from him this season.
Matt Barnes, a career sixth man, is currently starting at small forward. This is not by design, but by necessity. In a perfect world, Doc would start anyone but Barnes, using Matt’s high-impact venom off of the bench. Jared Dudley, the team’s original starter at SF, is destined for a frontcourt position. This is where Bullock comes in. The spot is there for him, regardless of his guaranteed money. He needs to step into that void and produce at the three-spot. Don’t think, don’t look over your shoulder — just produce. Take the shot when you’re open, swing the ball if you’re covered — oh, and talk on defense. After all, Dudley was hardly a defensive stopper during his 42-game starting stint. Rivers doesn’t want the world out of the former North Carolina Tar Heel. He just wants a little bit of consistency. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the other vets will take care of the rest.
Bullock is averaging 2.3 points per night while playing only 8.4 minutes a game. This is partly due to an ankle injury, the learning curve and the dreaded “rookie wall.” Nevertheless, if these numbers don’t triple by the end of the season, I fear for the championship run of the 2014 Los Angeles Clippers.