Here’s an excerpt from a piece I wrote for ESPN Los Angeles today about Eric Bledsoe’s journey this season:
With the departure of Mo Williams in an offseason trade, Bledsoe became a full-time backup point guard this season.
Outside of high school and a small portion of his rookie season, Bledsoe didn’t have much experience at the position.
“Being the lead guard was an adjustment for him,” Pack said. “We’ve constantly stressed to him that he needs to be a leader on the floor, play with the pace that he plays at, but just make the right decisions with that pace.”
Over the summer, Bledsoe played competitive pick-up games at a local rec center in his hometown of Birmingham, Ala,, arriving at the gym at 9 a.m., working on his core and legs for an hour or two, and then spend the rest of the day playing basketball against former college and overseas players. No drills. No weight lifting. Just basketball.
Pack visited him in late August and the two ran drills at nearby Samford University, focusing on Bledsoe’s pull-up shooting off pick-and-rolls, spotting up for corner 3-pointers and learning how to pick his spots offensively, or, as Pack said, “the cerebral part of his game.”
Bledsoe participated in the Clippers’ summer pick-up games at their training facility and impressed his teammates.
“To see how much Bled has grown is just amazing to me,” Paul said earlier this season. “I’ve known him since high school. He was actually a camper of mine at my point guard camp. To see how his confidence has grown from last to this year is impressive.”