A committee is kind of a nebulous term.
Sometimes, it’s a committee of one.
That’s not necessarily what Jason Kidd is advocating when it comes to replacing Tim Hardaway’s 29 minutes and 15 points per game.
But Reggie Bullock seems to be trying to make this job his own.
During the first three months of the season, Bullock had a difficult time adjusting to his new environment with the Mavericks. His shooting was way below his career norm.
But fate can deal some crazy cards.
Hardaway’s broken foot has opened the door for more consistent playing time for Bullock. In the first three games with Hardaway out, Bullock averaged 16 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting a robust 13-of-23 (56.6 percent) from 3-point range.
That’s elevated his season 3-point mark to 33.8 percent – still way below the 41 percent he shot last season but having perked up considerably over where it was when the calendar turned to 2022.
But even with iffy shooting, he’s had a good run defensively, which is where he hangs his hat.
“In the beginning of the year, that was one of our main goals: to be able to be one of the top defensive teams in the league,” Bullock said. “Later here in the season, it’s been one of our goals to try to go into the game with our defense and try to come out and disrupt things.”
All noble pursuits. But if the 3-point shooting goes completely south, it negates a lot of what a player can do defensively.
That’s why it’s so important that Bullock has begun to heat up from long range.
“It can always be a committee of one,” Kidd said of replacing Hardaway before Sunday’s visit to Orlando. “But there’s no pressure for one person to feel like they have to step in for Timmy.
“It’s a group. Reggie has been playing at a high level for us. We need him to continue to do that.”
However, that doesn’t mean that Josh Green, Trey Burke and, when he returns from a foot injury, Sterling Brown, won’t get plenty of chances.
“It gives other guys the opportunity to play, to get minutes,” Kidd said. “But the way Reggie is playing is great and we’re going to need to continue to see that from him.
“But that doesn’t mean the other guys can relax. We still got to get some things answered. That gives Trey and Greenie the opportunity to play.”
The Mavericks are 10-1 when Bullock scores 10-plus points and 7-0 when he scores 15 or more. On Saturday, he had 14 points in the second quarter, tying his most in a quarter in his career. He piled up nine more points in the third quarter to reach a season-best 23.
Bullock has kept a level head through the first half of the season when his shooting deserted him. It wasn’t like he hasn’t gone through shooting slumps before.
“It’s about continuing to shoot the ball,” he said. “My teammates believe in me. Continuing to stay aggressive, continuing to believe that I’m one of the best shooters in the league and continuing to take those shots.
“I’m just trying to continue to find my shots, continue to just take them and believe. It’s all about staying confident.”
And now is the time he’s going to get the opportunity for the payoff in that equation.
Share and comment