UNC in the NBA: Reggie Bullock’s big game leads Pistons

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30: Reggie Bullock
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 30: Reggie Bullock /

Pistons’ Reggie Bullock flourishing in starting role

Detroit Pistons small forward Reggie Bullock has finally arrived.

The former North Carolina wing spent the first five years of his NBA career with three different teams, never scoring more than four-and-a-half points per game in any individual season.

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This season began much the same way, Bullock seeing very few minutes and playing second fiddle to incumbent starter Stanley Johnson. In the nine games since being announced as a permanent starter, though, Bullock’s playing time has significantly increased and the results have been anything but ordinary.

Since replacing Johnson as the team’s starting small forward, the 6-foot-7, 205-pound Bullock is averaging nearly 13 points per game and hitting better than 59 percent of his shots from the floor. He’s also connecting on 49 percent of his shots from three-point range during that span, a number substantially better than Johnson’s sub-30 percent mark for the season.

Bullock has also scored double-figure points in seven of his nine games since joining the starting lineup, something that Johnson did just three times in his final 10 games as a starter, and only six times during the first two months of the season.

On Saturday night against the San Antonio Spurs, Bullock continued his hot shooting, scoring a game-high 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor and 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. It was a career-high in points for Bullock, too, besting his previous high of 20 and helping the Pistons top one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

Also in on the action for the Pistons was former Duke shooting guard Luke Kennard, who set a new career-high in points with 20, hitting four of his five attempts from three-point range.

To this point, the move to insert Bullock into the starting lineup has been a tremendous success. And with results like these, it’s likely that he’ll continue to operate in the same capacity for the foreseeable future.

Next: Tyler Zeller putting up career numbers for the Nets

The 20-15 Pistons are now second in the Central standings behind the Cleveland Cavaliers, and fourth-place overall in the Eastern Conference.