Eric Bledsoe Returning to Phoenix Suns In the Next Week, Could Keep Team in Playoffs
The Phoenix Suns have been weathering the storm as of late as they try and stay in the picture for the 2014 NBA Playoffs. The Suns are in a heated race at the bottom of the Western Conference playoff seeding, currently sitting at the seven seed with the Memphis Grizzlies sitting at the ninth seed trailing Phoenix by a single game.
Phoenix’s season and success has been remarkable in its own right from the get-go. There were legitimate conversations coming into this season about whether or not the Suns would be the worst team in the league this season, being mentioned in the same dubious breath as the Philadelphia 76ers. Yet, new head coach Jeff Hornacek has had this team playing in perfect harmony and has gotten the best from almost everyone on the roster.
At the start of the year, it was newly acquired guard Eric Bledsoe that was the lifeblood of this team. Since Bledsoe went down with a knee injury, though, it has been Goran Dragic playing at an All-Star level. With a little over a month remaining in the regular season, though, we’ll soon see again what the backcourt duo can accomplish together.
According to a report from Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, Bledsoe is slated to return to action in the next week. Coro reports that the talented point guard won’t return before Sunday’s game against the Golden State Warriors but won’t return after next Wednesday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Before the injury, Bledsoe averaged 18 points, 5.8 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 33.5 minutes per game while shooting 48.6 percent from the field and 35 percent from long-range. He was every bit the dynamic, box-score filling guard that he was billed to be before arriving in Phoenix.
Obviously there is going to need to be a grace-period of sorts to allow Bledsoe to shake off the rust from the injury, but the most pressing question regarding his return is how he and Dragic are going to coexist. They did so quite well before Bledsoe’s injury, but Dragic has since been playing like a star and has dominated the ball a great deal. As a result, one has to wonder if Dragic will continue to dominate the ball in that manner or if he’ll take somewhat of a backseat to Bledsoe.
There are questions that will need to be answered, but it’s hard to deny that getting a player of Bledsoe’s talent back healthy is beneficial to the Suns. He’ll need to get acclimated to playing again, but he should indeed aid Phoenix in holding onto their spot in the postseason.