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Reggie Bullock unsung hero in Dallas Mavericks first round playoff win over Jazz

Dallas Mavericks, Reggie Bullock
Dallas Mavericks, Reggie Bullock / Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks knocked out the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs with a narrow Game 6 victory in Salt Lake City. They overcame poor shooting and sluggish play in the first half to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2011.

Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson made the headlines in the series. Spencer Dinwiddie had an unforgettable dunk. Maxi Kleber made key shots in the Game 2 and 3 wins as Dorian Finney-Smith earned well-deserved respect for his defense on Donovan Mitchell, but it was Reggie Bullock that did not grab the headlines despite a stellar performance.

Bullock played 42.4 minutes per game in the series, and he likely would have seen more time if not for being ejected for protecting Luka Doncic after a hard foul by Hassan Whiteside in the fourth quarter of Game 5. The 6’6 wing played a key role, and he even did so while feeling under the weather, according to Tim MacMahon.

Reggie Bullock unsung hero in Dallas Mavericks first-round playoff win over Jazz

Bullock played 254 of the 288 minutes in the Mavs' first-round series against the Jazz where he averaged 10.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.5 steals on 44.7 percent shooting from the field and 40.5 percent on his threes. The 31-year-old had 15 points in Game 1, and his defense and rebounding were key to slowing down Utah’s offense.

The Jazz had the best offensive rating in the NBA during the regular season at 116.2, but the Mavs dropped them to 108.4 during the six-game series led by the on-ball defense of Dorian Finney-Smith and Reggie Bullock. Mike Conley was a non-factor in the series, and Bullock had the primary role of defending the All-Star guard.

Bullock is not a flashy player. He plays stout defense and hits open shots. The 6’6 wing has a quick release, and he makes his team better. The Dallas Mavericks would not be in the second round without Reggie Bullock, but his contributions will go unnoticed by anyone who did not watch the series.

Next. 3 takeaways from Mavs Game 6 win over Jazz. dark