Bucks Lead

What Happened to Eric Bledsoe?

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After a near all-star season, Eric Bledsoe has essentially disappeared from the 2019 Eastern Conference Finals.

It didn’t start like this, though. He had a quality first round series against the Detroit Pistons and a not-too-shabby second round series against the Boston Celtics. The Eastern Conference Finals have been an entirely different story.

What’s to blame for Bledsoe’s series skid? Let’s take a look.

Numbers vs. Detroit

Bledsoe was most consistent in Milwaukee’s four-game sweep of the Detroit Pistons. He was finding his way to the rim with ease and hitting shots from the outside. He has never been a stellar three-point shooter, but hitting multiple triples in multiple games can’t be ignored.

Game 1: 15 points (5-9 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 3-4 FT), 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal (25 minutes)

Game 2: 27 points (11-19 FG, 3-8 3Pt, 2-3 FT), 6 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block (28 minutes)

Game 3: 19 points, (8-19 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 5 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals (30 minutes)

Game 4: 16 points (7-12 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 1-1 FT), 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals (28 minutes)

The Bledshow showed out in this series. His numbers remained consistent throughout, and he averaged just 1.8 turnovers/game.

Numbers vs. Boston

Eric wasn’t as consistent here, but he still produced at a high clip in multiple games.

Game 1: 6 points (1-5 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 4-6 FT), 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 2 steals (25 minutes)

Game 2: 21 points (7-12 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 4-4 FT), 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks (26 minutes)

Game 3: 9 points (4-15 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 0-4 FT), 4 assists, 1 rebound (27 minutes)

Game 4: 13 points (6-12 FG, 0-4 3Pt, 1-3 FT), 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 blocks (28 minutes)

Game 5: 18 points (7-14 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), 2 assists, 6 rebounds (28 minutes)

Despite a pair of duds in Game’s 1 and 3, Bledsoe still posted three solid games, all which contributed to wins for the good guys.

Numbers so far vs. Toronto

This is where things get ugly. Let’s take a look at the splits first and then try to determine what’s gone wrong.

Game 1: 9 points (3-12 FG, 0-6 3Pt, 3-3 FT), 2 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 steal (29 minutes)

Game 2: 8 points (3-10 FG, 1-5 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 7 assists, 5 rebounds (29 minutes)

Game 3: 11 points (3-16 FG, 1-6 3Pt, 4-6 FT), 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals (34 minutes)

Game 4: 5 points (2-7 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), 2 assists, 3 rebounds (20 minutes)

Last night, Bledsoe played a playoff-low 20 minutes, very uncharacteristic from his typical upper-20 clip. One thing worth noting; Bledsoe had five turnovers in Game 3, but zero in Game’s 1, 2, and 4.

Series Averages

vs. Detroit (4 games): 19.3 PPG (53% FG, 32% 3Pt, 82% FT), 5.3 APG, 4.0 RPG, 2.0 SPG, 27.8 MPG

vs. Boston (5 games): 13.4 PPG (43% FG, 25% 3Pt, 58% FT), 3.6 APG, 2.8 RPG, 0.6 SPG, 26.8 MPG

vs. Toronto (4 games): 8.3 PPG (31% FG, 11% 3Pt, 69% FT), 3.5 APG, 4.3 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 28.0 MPG

What’s the Problem?

Based on what you’ve seen above, it’s simple– he’s settling, and that’s exactly what Toronto wants. As most of us can conclude from seeing him at his highest output, he plays his best basketball when he’s slashing through the lane, creating opportunities for others to slash or spot up for an open triple. He’s trying to embrace the “let it fly” mentality, but someone has to enhance that by opening and spacing the floor. Defensively Bledsoe has been great, but has seen fellow veteran George Hill replace him on numerous occasions during this series following poor decision-making.

Eric Bledsoe has had a rough series, but the series split opens up a best-of-three set in which he will need to forget the past and focus on each upcoming game. We all know what he’s capable of, it now lies on him to make better decisions.

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About Eric Peterson

CEO and Content Manager of TLSM. Twitter: @EricTLSM

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