Reggie Bullock disappears as Knicks get crushed in Game 4 vs. Trae Young, Hawks

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

ATLANTA — Reggie Bullock went from the unsung hero to disappearing in Atlanta.

The Knicks starting guard not only had trouble with his defensive assignment (Trae Young), he went scoreless in 34 minutes while managing just four shots.

Coach Tom Thibodeau excused the performance after the 113-96 defeat to the Hawks in Game 4.

“We’re asking him to do a lot,” Thibodeau said. “He’s in a lot of actions offensively, but he’s guarding Trae. 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.”

Bullock was a hero in the Game 2 victory at Madison Square Garden, where he nailed clutch treys and dropped 15 points. But Sunday represented the 30-year-old’s first scoreless game since January.

It’s problematic because Young, who is Atlanta’s worst defender, was able to hide on Bullock without much trouble or concern. Thibodeau insisted that he’s been trying to get Young involved defensively in actions, but it wasn’t evident in Game 4.

“We’ve done that,” Thibodeau said. “They’re covering for him, they’ve done a good job with that.”

Bullock was involved in the late-game physical activity Sunday after charging at the Hawks bench during a timeout in the fourth quarter. Bullock, who wasn’t made available to the media, took exception to an elbow from Danilo Gallinari while fighting for a rebound.

Bullock picked up a technical for the display, but replays showed Gallinari’s elbow was neither blatant or egregious. Gallinari said he was confused by Bullock’s reaction and it was more about the frustration of losing.

“I was just going back to the bench to get my water to be honest,” Gallinari said. “I wasn’t really paying attention to what was happening. But I think that that would be the normal reaction when you lose a game like this. It’s something to be expected and that’s OK. We’re all competitors. We hate to lose.”

Julius Randle followed up with a flagrant foul on Gallinari on the following play. He grabbed and shoved the Italian.

“I don’t care if they are in their feelings or who’s mad and who’s not,” Young said. “It’s just basketball at the end of the day. We’re just trying to win. All the extra stuff, it is what it is. We’re locked in. We’re focused on us and we’re trying to win a game.”

Bullock is a free agent this summer and is in line for a pay raise after his $4.2 million-per-year deal expires. But if anything, the playoffs have lowered the price.