Bullock's number comes up and he responds big-time
Reggie Bullock is not in the D-League anymore, but isn’t taking any chances he might go back.
After a stint with the Grand Rapids Drive this season — an effort to get him some reps and stay active while toiling on the Pistons bench — Bullock has found his mojo again.
Bullock has had one of the best stretches in his career, averaging 9.7 points and 3.7 rebounds and shooting 62 percent (13-for-21) on 3-pointers the last six games. After making only one 3-pointer in 19 games, Bullock has become a reliable reserve filling in for Stanley Johnson (sprained shoulder) and Anthony Tolliver (sprained knee).
Bullock had languished on the bench, totaling 14 minutes in five games since Dec. 12. But he has played 26 minutes the last three games.
After being acquired from the Suns along with Marcus Morris in an offseason trade for a second-round pick, Bullock is developing into more than a throw-in piece to the deal that already netted the Pistons a starting forward.
“To sit for 45 or 50 games, not playing and then play pretty well, you have to give guys a lot of credit,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. “Having guys on your roster who keep themselves ready to play — he’s done it, Darrun (Hilliard) did it, Steve (Blake) did it when he was sitting with Brandon (Jennings playing). We’ve got a lot of guys like that and they deserve a lot of credit.”
Van Gundy also credited assistant Charles Klask, who works primarily with reserves.
And Bullock’s teammmates have noticed, too.
“It’s a testament to how hard he’s worked,” Reggie Jackson said. “He came in and probably didn’t feel like he was the prized possession in the trade and just knew he was going to fight day in and day out.
“He definitely won the spot at the beginning of the season and to be in this spot, missing Stanley and Jodie (Meeks) and (Tolliver), just for him to come out and continue to be himself, through a tough stretch when the ball wasn’t going in for him. He’s continued to be confident and waiting for his number to be called and he’s shining.”
The players association reportedly is considering getting involved in the Pistons voided deal for Donatas Motiejunas. According to Yahoo Sports reporter Marc Spears, association officials may file a grievance on behalf of Motiejunas.
Motiejunas claims the cancellation could impact his value as a free agent. He had back surgery last year and had played in 14 games at the time of the trade. He has since returned to the Rockets lineup and has played in five games.
The Pistons insisted he did not pass their physical exams, but Motiejunas refuted the claims, insisting the Pistons conducted a sham of a physical, which he feels he passed.
“The team doctor simply says whether you pass or don’t, although they may not do any checks,” Motiejunas told Lithuanian website Basketnews.Lt. “Those 48 hours actually just let the team decide whether they want you or not. The Pistons announced I did not pass the medical, although I surely did pass it and played even before it.
“The injury was a pretense to call off the trade. They changed their minds.”
Van Gundy lamented the loss of Motiejunas, a versatile big man who could stretch defenses with his outside shooting.
“It’s disappointing because we saw the possibilities,” Van Gundy said Feb. 22. “I would do it over again, if it were out there. We did our due diligence and thought there was too much risk.”