Guarding Trae Young may be taking toll on Knicks’ Reggie Bullock


Reggie Bullock appeared to get on track following a poor shooting night in the series opener with two more typical performances over the next two games.

The Knicks’ starting small forward — and one of their most dependable outside shooters — was blanked, however, in Sunday’s pivotal Game 4 loss in Atlanta. Bullock attempted just four shots in 34 minutes, three from 3-point range, and missed all of them in the Hawks’ 113-96 victory at State Farm Arena.

“I think he only had three or four shots. We’re asking him to do a lot,” Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau said when asked about Bullock after the game. “He’s in a lot of actions offensively, but he’s guarding Trae [Young]. You’re using a lot of energy there.

“But same thing with him, when he’s open, we want him shooting. He’ll find his way. He’s a great pro. He’ll be ready [for Game 5 on Wednesday].”

Bullock was not made available by the Knicks after the game, but he was not the only customary contributor to endure an off-shooting night in Game 4.

Reggie Bullock defends Trae Young.
Reggie Bullock defends Trae Young.
Corey Sipkin

While the Hawks nailed 15 shots from long distance, the Knicks connected on just 9 of 29 from beyond the arc. Rookie guard Immanuel Quickley also was held scoreless, finishing 0-for-2 on 3-point attempts (0-for-3 overall) in 13 minutes.

“We shot the 3 great all year. I think the big thing for us is to make quick decisions,” Thibodeau said. “When we do that, we are capable of making those shots. I don’t want guys hesitating. You’ve done it throughout the course of the season and shown how capable you are. Keep it simple. Open shot? Shoot it.”

The 30-year-old Bullock also had missed all five of his 3-point tries in the Knicks’ Game 1 loss, but he sank 4 of 7 from deep and scored 15 points to help fuel their second-half comeback in a series-evening win at the Garden two nights later.

Bullock’s most memorable moment from Sunday’s game happened with his team trailing by 25 points with 3:30 remaining.

After Bullock appeared to get elbowed from behind by Atlanta’s Danilo Gallinari beneath the basket, he charged towards the Hawks’ bench during the stoppage in play and had to be restrained by Obi Toppin and other teammates.

Bullock was assessed a technical foul on the play, and he was replaced by Kevin Knox. He later high-fived Julius Randle, who committed a garbage-time flagrant foul on Gallinari.



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