Knicks Notes: Bullock, Toppin, Quickley, Crowd Size

Reggie Bullock has taken advantage of the chance to prove he can be a long-term fixture with the Knicks, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. Bullock arrived at training camp with just a small guarantee on this season’s contract, but he quickly proved his worth to new coach Tom Thibodeau and earned a spot in the starting lineup.

“I felt like I was starting at zero, but I knew what type of coach he was,” Bullock said. “I never played for him, but I knew that he was a hard-nosed type of coach, and I felt like he could be a coach to bring the best out of me, which he is doing. The things that he expects on the offensive and defensive end plays to my skill set. … He has a lot of belief in me, I have a lot of belief in him to prepare our team and myself, second to none in this league.”

Bullock is New York’s best perimeter defender and a dangerous outside shooter, connecting at 41% from beyond the arc this season. He figures to be an offseason priority for the Knicks in free agency and would love to get a long-term deal to stay with the team.

“I found a home,” said Bullock, who has played for five teams in eight seasons. “I’m just happy and excited to have actually found a place where a coach and organization believe in the things that I do on both ends of the floor.”

There’s more from New York:

  • Rookie forward Obi Toppin is likely to see his playing time reduced in the first-round series against Atlanta, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Sources tell Berman that the Hawks expect to see more minutes for Julius Randle and veteran backup Taj Gibson, who may be used at power forward as well as center, and fewer for Toppin.
  • Fellow rookie Immanuel Quickley will continue to play an important role in the playoffs, Berman adds in the same story. Quickley is looking forward to the postseason opportunity after having the NCAA tournament canceled last year. “When you play in postseason on any level, the level of intensity is intensified,” he said. “It’s usually low-scoring and defense. Just watching it all my life, watching the playoffs, it’s always been kind of cool. It’s going to be even more fun to be out there with my teammates.’’
  • After playing without home crowds for most of the season, the Knicks are excited to have 15,000 fans at Madison Square Garden for today’s playoff opener, tweets Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic. “I do think the home crowd is going to help us a lot,” RJ Barrett said. “It was loud when it was 2,000 people in here. 15,000 is going to be crazy.”
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