The Phoenix Suns have surprised many people with their 5-2 start, and leading the charge has been point guard Eric Bledsoe.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton wrote about both the Suns’ and Bledsoe’s unexpected starts in his Insider piece. And although other Phoenix players — including Gerald Green and Miles Plumlee — have put up more surprising numbers, according to Pelton, Bledsoe’s ability to run the offense has been the most important development in the young season.
Pelton noted that because of the Suns’ increased reliance on Bledsoe given Goran Dragic’s recent ankle injury, the fourth-year pro ranks fifth in the league with 6.6 minutes of possession per game. Handed the reigns of the offense, Pelton said Bledsoe’s handled the challenge with ease.
Not only is he averaging 7.7 assists per 36 minutes — nearly 50 percent better than last season’s mark — Bledsoe has used more than a quarter of the team’s plays while making 60.3 percent of his 2-point attempts and providing his usual sensational defense. Turns out Bledsoe learned a little something about running the pick-and-roll from playing behind Chris Paul the past two seasons. According to Synergy Sports Technology, he ranks fifth in the NBA in points created on pick-and-rolls (105).
Bledsoe came over to the Suns after a three-team trade with the Los Angeles Clippers and the Milwaukee Bucks. Although he didn’t sign a contract extension with the team in late October and is set to become a restricted free agent after the season, Bledsoe is considered a major part of the Suns’ future.