Will Eric Bledsoe’s Injury Push Phoenix Suns Back to Mediocrity?
The Phoenix Suns were expecting some bad news after Eric Bledsoe missed the last four games with a sprained knee, but they never saw this coming.
As it has been reported, the electric guard – one of the candidates to take home the NBA Most Improved Player Award at the end of the year – will be sidelined indefinitely as he will need a surgery to repair cartilage in his right knee. That’s a huge blow for the Suns as Bledsoe led them to an unexpected 21-13 start that would put them in the playoffs if the season ended today.
And all signs are pointing to the Suns leaving that spot sooner rather than later, and they might not be able to return unless Bledsoe comes back quickly.
The former No. 18 overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft formed a spectacular tandem with Goran Dragic and averaged 18 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds so far this season. His absence will increase the load on Dragic’s shoulders as the primary ball handler and offensive force in the backcourt.
Gerald Green will continue to replace him in the starting lineup, and Leandro Barbosa – who was recently signed to a 10-day contract – could gain more time with the team if he can produce given the fact that Bledsoe has no timetable to return. Whatever head coach Jeff Hornacek decides to do, it’s obvious that Bledsoe’s injury will hurt the team’s chances, and if he doesn’t return soon enough, the Suns might not be able to hold onto their playoff spot down the stretch.