PHOENIX — Eric Bledsoe waited three years for this opportunity. The last thing he wants is to watch it pass from the bench.
Bledsoe missed his second straight game Wednesday as he continues to deal with a bruised left shin, the result of a collision with teammate PJ Tucker during practice Sunday.
“He’s killing everybody,” Bledsoe said with a smile. “He’s built like a tank.”
Tucker collided with Goran Dragic earlier this season against Utah, and Dragic was forced to leave the game with a right facial contusion.
“Ish (Smith) had the ball, like 12 seconds to go (in the scrimmage),” Bledsoe continued. “You know I had it locked up, so he wasn’t going nowhere. Tuck came over and gave me a hand to help out a little bit and he just rammed me.”
The play, thus far, has robbed Bledsoe of two starts here in his first season as a full-time starter.
“It’s no feeling like going in to a game knowing you’re going to play a lot,” he said. “It’s hard to definitely miss games.”
Bledsoe tested the leg prior to Wednesday’s game, and while it “definitely got a lot better” since Sunday, he was still experiencing some soreness and walking with a slight limp as he made his way to the Suns’ bench to watch them play the Kings for a second straight night.
The Suns lost their fourth straight, 113-106, and for the first time this season have a sub-.500 record (5-6).
“I was sitting on the bench…almost bit my nails off because I wanted to get in so bad,” he said referring to the three-point loss in Sacramento. No nails suffered Wednesday.
While it is still early, the results of the dual-point guard backcourt experiment are inconclusive at best.
Of the 11 games played, Bledsoe and Dragic have only started and finished three together: Portland (10/30, season opener), New Orleans (11/10) and Brooklyn (11/15). Combined, they have missed five games.
“It would be nice to have them for every game and then 40 games into it we could say this is working or it’s not working,” head coach Jeff Hornacek said. “With Goran being hurt (sprained left ankle) and now Eric being hurt, same thing happened in preseason, it makes it a little difficult.
“You just play with what you have and the guys, I thought, have done a pretty good job of stepping up. We’ve been in every game. It would be nice to have them both for a long stretch.”
Bledsoe said he hadn’t talked with Dragic about their recent run of bad luck. He has, however, thought often about how the two share the floor and how successful it can be.
“It’s good to have two good point guards in these type of situations,” Bledsoe said. “Hopefully later on down the road, me and him play a lot together. We can get the kinks out right now.”