The Phoenix Suns got an enormous lift from Eric Bledsoe on Friday night. Facing off against the Detroit Pistons, who admittedly have struggled throughout the 2013-14 NBA season, the Suns got a huge fourth quarter from their star guard that helped ultimately carry them to a much-needed 98-92 victory over Detroit.
Bledsoe came up big in a number of ways for Phoenix. Playing 38 minutes, the young guard put up 23 points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals while shooting 8-16 from the floor. The only two real blemishes on his evening were his five turnovers and his 1-5 shooting from beyond-the-arc.
Bledsoe has missed much of the regular season with a knee injury and returned only a few weeks ago. However, he just recently started to perform at what appears to be full-health again. As he’s done so though, it’s definitely started to recall just how good the talented youngster was playing prior to going out with his injury.
While Bledsoe was sidelined with his injury, though, his backcourt mate in Goran Dragic stepped up mightily. In fact, Dragic performed so wonderfully this season that many people thought that he should have been in the All-Star Game and some consider him one of the top 10 candidates for MVP this season.
Watching Bledsoe perform right now, though, it’s hard to not feel that Dragic didn’t, in a way, capitalize on Bledsoe’s absence. Dragic hasn’t put up quite the same numbers since Bledsoe’s return and it’s been relatively clear as Bledsoe has gotten back to full-strength that he’s the alpha-dog for this Suns team.
I don’t mean to diminish what Dragic has accomplished this season. He helped keep this Phoenix team afloat with Bledsoe out and did so with by often putting the team on his back. However, it is quite possible that these accolades are more the result of circumstance than anything else.