Last Updated: 2017-11-07
The Milwaukee Bucks pulled off a major move on Election Day. They traded Greg Monroe and a future first-round draft pick to the Phoenix Suns for guard Eric Bledsoe. Immediately, it seems like the Bucks made out great in the trade. However, they need Bledsoe to be at his best on the offensive side of the ball.
Entering his eighth NBA seasons, Bledsoe has averaged 13 points per game. Realistically, the Bucks should be getting a 20-point scorer. During his tenure with the Suns, Bledsoe averaged over 18 points per game and surpassed the 20-point mark over the last two years. Yet, after three games of the 2017 season, he was sent home due to a controversial tweet that really wasn’t that bad. Furthermore, Bledsoe’s banishment lowered the market for his services around the NBA. That’s why many people believe the Bucks won this trade.
Bledsoe is a career 44.4 percent shooter from the field. Unfortunately, Bledsoe only shoots slightly better than 33 percent from 3-point range. Meaning, he might not help the Bucks from long range went it matters most. So far, the Bucks are shooting well as a team. They are No. 3 in the NBA with a 39.5 percent average. However, they are prone to going into scoring droughts.
The Bucks have started (4-5). Although the hype for a Giannis AntetoKounmpo NBA MVP award is on full blast, that won’t happen if the Bucks remain below .500. In 4 of their 5 losses, the Bucks have failed to reach the 100-point mark. Antetokounmpo is settling for more 3-point attempts when the Bucks are losing. Overall, he is shooting 7-of-21 from 3-point range. He is 5-of-13 in losses. The long range shots highlights something else, too. Antetokounmpo has gotten to the line 10 times per game in four wins. He is only averaging 5.6 free throw attempts in defeat. Clearly, the Bucks need Antetokounmpo to be more aggressive getting to the rim.
With the insertion of Bledsoe to the lineup, there should be more room for the spot up shooters. In a perfect world, Bledsoe will produce over seven assists this season. He’s never had more than 6.1 assists per game. However, the Bucks should have the best offensive talent around Bledsoe in his NBA career. Therefore, he doesn’t have to force shots in his new surroundings. Remember, Bledsoe averaged almost 16 shots per game the past two seasons.
The biggest key to the addition of Bledsoe could come with Khris Middleton. So far, Middleton is struggling to connect on his 3-point shots this season. He is the worst of the regular rotation players at 26.7 percent. In reality, Middleton should be Top 3 in 3-point shooting. For example, he shot over 43 percent from downtown last season. As a result, Bledsoe’s presence could be a catalyst to break Middleton out of his shooting slump.
In the end, Bledsoe needs to be available. He’s only played over 80 games twice in his NBA career. Bledsoe also has three seasons where he didn’t reach the 50-game mark.
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