The Phoenix Suns are off to a solid 5-2 start. With all due respect to forward Markieff Morris, the incredible play from offseason acquisition Eric Bledsoe is the main reason for the team’s success to this point in the young NBA season. The young guard appears to be in the beginning stages of a major breakout campaign that he will be trying to continue on Wednesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Back on July 10, the Los Angeles Clippers sent Bledsoe to Phoenix as part of a three-team trade. In his first three seasons, all of which were spent with the Clippers, the 18th overall selection of the 2010 draft averaged 6.7 points, 3.0 assists and 1.2 steals in 197 games while spending the majority of that time as a backup. However, Bledsoe did show great potential when given the opportunity in Los Angeles.
That potential is being fulfilled this season. Through seven games, Bledsoe is putting up MVP-caliber production. The 23-year-old is averaging 20.9 points, 7.3 assists 4.4 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game so far in head coach Jeff Hornacek’s system. Even more impressive, he is shooting 52 percent from the floor on nearly 13 attempts per contest. If Bledsoe can keep up this pace, the Suns may just find themselves in the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
The Trail Blazers, led by LeMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard, are a very talented bunch and will pose a solid challenge on their home court. Like the Suns, they are 5-2 and have fans around Portland envisioning a postseason run, as well. This Western Conference matchup should be an exciting one between these two early season surprises.