Reggie Bullock talks Dallas Mavericks adding Kyrie Irving, reaching Conference Finals
The Dallas Mavericks traded for Kyrie Irving just over three weeks ago and after Thursday night's home victory over the 76ers, things look like they're finally starting to click. Irving is figuring out exactly how he needs to play with this team in order to win and how to play alongside Luka Doncic.
Mavericks' wing Reggie Bullock joined Theo Pinson on his podcast Run Your Race to talk about adding Irving into the mix, his overall experience playing for the Mavs, and much more.
Reggie Bullock and Theo Pinson talk Dallas Mavericks adding Kyrie Irving, reaching Western Conference Finals last season
Bullock signed a three-year, $30.5 million contract with the Mavericks in the summer of 2021. He knew exactly why the Mavs brought him in and bought into his role.
Bullock averaged 8.6 points per game last season and 10.6 points each night during the playoffs. He was one of the 3-and-D wings that the Mavericks needed and helped push the team all the way to the Western Conference Finals.
Reggie Bullock on why the Dallas Mavericks brought him in
"I knew exactly why the Mavericks brought me here, to do exactly what I did for the Knicks and that was pretty much shoot the ball and be a big-time defender and help this team out."
The Mavericks made the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2011 last season, as they beat the Jazz and Suns in the first two rounds. Dallas ended up losing to the Warriors in five games in the conference finals but it was a step in the right direction in terms of overall recent team success.
Theo Pinson on how and why the Dallas Mavericks made the Western Conference Finals last season
"Everybody can't be the scorer. Everybody has to do their part, everybody has to play their role at an elite level to get where we got to. It was one of the things where we understand that it ain't easy to get there but if everybody don't buy into their role it ain't happening."
Everyone playing their role is exactly what the Mavericks did in the playoffs last year. Doncic and Jalen Brunson led the way in scoring and handling the ball and everyone bought into the overall plan. If the Mavericks want to make a deep playoff run again this year is something that could take them to that level.
Reggie Bullock's first thoughts after trading for Kyrie Irving
"We bring in a dog. We know what he can do, he shreds defenses up. Bringing in another in-game closer, another bucket getter, another force for this team and then surround him around the pieces and the mentality of what got us to the Western Conference (Finals) last year...I felt pretty good about it...We're figuring it out."
Irving is the leading fourth-quarter scorer in the NBA, and he has the ability to single-handedly close out games. Bullock refers to pairing Irving next to Doncic as the two closers of the team and having everyone else play with the same mindset from the playoffs last year.
Reggie Bullock's goals for the rest of the season and playoffs
"Our goal is to finish way above .500 and just trying to go into the playoffs with a great mentality, a great seed and try to definitely get us there and just get the ball rolling."
The Mavericks are sitting at 33-31 and the sixth seed. They are just a game and a half out of the fourth seed and homecourt advantage.
Theo Pinson on Kyrie Irving's championship pedigree
"You can feel the aura. Especially the aura that he brings as far as like I'm here to win. I'm here to take that next step and help y'all get there. "
Irving has an NBA Championship in 2016 and two other NBA Finals appearances. Pinson alludes to Irving wanting to help take the Mavericks there and making winning a top priority.
Theo Pinson on reaching the peak of the Kyrie Irving-Luka Doncic duo
"Once we figure this sh*t out, it's going to be scary. It's going to be scary hours. Because with those two type of talents, playing with Luka and Kai, it's one of the top ten players playing on the same team."
The Dallas Mavericks took a step in the right direction on Thursday night for reaching the "scary hours" that Pinson is talking about. Although the 76ers battled back in the fourth quarter and the Mavericks' defense struggled at times, they still pulled out a win over a tough 76ers team as Doncic and Irving dominated and combined for a whopping 82 points.
The Mavericks' next chance to pile another win on is against the Kevin Durant-led Phoenix Suns on Sunday afternoon.