Eric Bledsoe from a Clippers fan perspective

I see a lot of you guys are excited about a possible Crawford for Bledsoe deal, and believe me, plenty of Clippers fans are as well.

Dont want to sound rude, but from what I could tell reading the posts, a lot of perceptions about Bledsoe seemed way off. I will try to describe what I think Bledsoe can and can't do.

The Good

Energy: Bledsoe is a sparkplug. Cliche, but I will use it anyway. He comes in, and all of a sudden, for no reason, the game becomes more intense. This is partly because he always moves at 100 MPH, which can be a bad thing, but there is no doubt that he picks up a teams pace and energy level when he checks in.

Athleticism: The dude can fly, both horizontally and vertically. He soars above people for dunks, skies for rebounds, and beats everyone down court. Basically, imagine Russell Westbrook like athleticism (but dont expect Westbrooks skill).

Rebounding: Bledsoe is a great rebounder for a PG, primarily due to his athleticism, but also because of his long wingspan. When he gets defensive rebounds, he loves pushing the ball and trying to either get fouled or get a layup/dunk. He also gets some offensive boards to keep possessions alive.

Defense: Bledsoe was an alright defender last year, but in the past 5 or so games this year, Bledsoe seems to have turned it up a notch. This is partly because of his energy and athleticism, but he is also a very willing defender, and will stick to his man like glue. Last night, he shut down Monta Ellis in the 4th quarter after he had been scorching all game.

The Bad

Shooting and Scoring: If Bledsoe is not getting baskets in transition, he is probably not scoring. He is not great at finishing at the rim in a halfcourt setting, mainly because he loses the ball most of the time en route to the basket. He also is not a good shooter at all, including from the FT line. You can't just stick him out by the 3 point line and expect him to convert a decent number of chances.

Passing Ability/Court Vision: Bledsoe often gets too focused on his own drives to the rim, especially in halfcourt settings, and is not necessarily a guy who passes a lot anyway. He is decent on the fastbreak though.

Ability to run an offense: Bledsoe can not run an offense, unless you are talking Suns circa 2006 7 seconds or less. He turns the ball over a lot, does not put people in good position to score, and either rushes things too much or hesitates too long. This often ends in a bad shot with 15 seconds left, or shot clock violations.

Handles: All right I suppose. They would probably be better if he ever tried slowing down instead of trying to blaze by everyone.


Turnovers: Bledsoe could be the most turnover prone player I have ever seen in the NBA. He throws passes away, throws them at guys knees, throws passes when they are not looking. He also goes out of control a lot, ending in out of bounds' or charges. Finally, he gets stripped off one of his wild moves at least once every ten minutes. In other words, except lots and lots of turnovers if you get him.

The Bottom Line

Bledsoe is a fairly unique player in the NBA. He is great for around 15 minutes off the bench to energize a team, force some turnovers, and play good defense. What you can not expect from him is much actual PG play. For the Trailblazers, if I am thinking correctly, you guys could use the energy, but not the wild play. He could be great, or he could remain like this for a few years, lose his athleticism, and promptly drop out of the league. Most of his assets are based on his athleticism, so there is also the risk of injuries debilitating his play, though that is true of any player.

Edit: I kind of hinted at this, but I am actually pretty pessimistic about Bledsoe among Clippers fans. If you really want to, you can head over to Clipsnation and just see what most people think about him. There have been several recent fanposts about him or mentioning him that I remember, as well as discussions about him in the stories about the trade. I dont think the deal will go through though.

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