Eric Bledsoe is no longer a secret. Not nearly a household name, but by putting up numbers not seen since Magic Johnson in 1981, he’s tough to ignore.
Among those taking note is friend of ClipperBlog, Beckley Mason. A year after pointing out what made the Clippers tough to root for, it’s been Bledsoe who has brought him back. Today on HoopSpeak, Mason has a fantastic piece about what it is that makes Bledsoe so special.
If point guard defense matters a bit less because it’s basically an impossible task, consider the value of Bledsoe, one of only a couple players who can be reliably deployed to accomplish that very task. No one else eats space quite like Bledsoe because no one else with his length has his quickness and strength, so unlike many tall, long players, Bledsoe doesn’t have to give much cushion.
That means he can just do stuff no other player can do. Are you picking up on the theme?
There are just more possibilities when he is on the court, which is both an aesthetic and pragmatic argument for his impending stardom.
As fun and educational as watching Chris Paul is, and there certainly are moments of unscripted brilliance, last year’s Clippers were boring. There was the sense that, having watched a handful of games, you had already witnessed the full catalogue of possible outcomes for any Clipper possession. (Worth noting: Bledsoe was coming off an injury and playing just 11 minutes per game.)
This year’s Clippers are more dynamic for a whole host of reasons that probably begins with Jamal Crawford’s handle, which looks like a real life version of when someone is mindlessly mashing the crossover button in NBA 2K — no one goes behind the back six times then spins, goes between the legs and shoots and makes a 3 … well, almost no one.
But Bledsoe’s been the true revelation for me.
Read the rest of the piece here.