Depending on who you ask, the loss of Eric Bledsoe for however long he is out may or may not be a crushing blow to the Phoenix Suns.
Some people think not having the guard for an extended stretch of time will spell doom, believing the Suns don’t have the type of depth and firepower necessary to survive an injury like this.
Others believe the team’s style of play as well as the fact that they have another star point guard on the roster will do enough to negate whatever they are losing with Bledsoe and keep the team afloat until he returns.
Put former Suns GM and current TNT NBA analyst Steve Kerr in the group that thinks the Suns will be just fine.
“It’s a shame, he was playing so well and the team has been playing so well; they’ve had a fantastic season,” he told Burns and Gambo Friday. “I still think they can win games. They showed in Minnesota the other night they can beat a good team on the road without him.”
Just not as good of a team.
With the former Clipper in the lineup, the Suns are a healthy 16-8. Without him, they are 5-6. Not bad, but not likely not good enough to reach the postseason.
Bledsoe has averaged a career-high 18 points, 5.8 assists and 4.3 rebounds per game this season, his first in Phoenix.
“But I just love what they’ve built and I love the chemistry and it’s a well-coached team,” Kerr said. “Jeff (Hornacek)’s doing an amazing job.
“So I think they’re going to survive just because they have a really strong foundation there, which it sounds crazy to say given where we all thought they’d be before the season started. A pretty remarkable story.”
Time will tell just how much Bledsoe’s injury impacts the win/loss column, but overall Kerr is very impressed with what he’s seen from the team, especially with regards to coaching, effort and teamwork.
“Some of that is just the character of the guys involved, and maybe a little chip on their shoulders,” he said, pointing to Channing Frye, who missed all of last season and had some wondering if he’d ever be an effective player again. “It’s a combination of all that, and that’s the trick. What’s so hard in any sport, but in particular basketball, is how you capture that magic. It’s always kind of a concoction of coaching and character and a little bit of luck and pieces fitting.
“They’ve found the right formula for sure, they’ve just got a bunch of good guys that play hard and play together.”
Unfortunately for the Suns, they’ll be short at least one of those guys for the foreseeable future.