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Ranking the Roster 2019: Eric Bledsoe gets the Boot at #4

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The postseason-troubled point guard has to prove himself when it counts this season

Charlotte Hornets v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Eric Bledsoe will probably loom for some time as the largest scapegoat for the Milwaukee Bucks inability to make it to the NBA Finals last season. Despite Nikola Mirotic shooting touch turning Glacier Freeze, Giannis Antetokounmpo not playing up to his sterling standards and Mike Budenholzer making some puzzling rotation decisions, Bledsoe’s complete shirk from the spotlight was the most egregious disappearance of any Bucks player. Given the fact he signed an extension before last season concluded, the hope was that the franchise’s trust in him would get paid off. In the immediate aftermath, it wasn’t, and the Bucks now have a question mark leading them in the backcourt for the foreseeable future.

There was an argument to be made that Bledsoe was the Bucks second best player during the regular season last year though. Not only was he one of the fulcrums of the defense alongside Brook Lopez and Giannis Antetokounmpo, but he was brutally efficient driving to the rim. His ability to finish in the paint, despite his diminutive size, is almost unparalleled across the league. The fact those driving lanes disappeared or collapsed in the Playoffs was a huge part of why his play dipped so precipitously.

On top of that, Bud helped flip some of his frustrating midrange shots into both 3-point jumpers and restricted area attempts. Devoid of those tendencies, his offensive value vaulted up last year too. The end result: an immensely valuable regular season and a 1st team All-Defensive year.

That’s all well and good, but many will have their entire outlook on Bledsoe colored by his postseason failings. Given this team’s aspirations, that is a valid criticism. I think that critique tends to overlook his defensive value to this team, but that’s always significantly harder to quantify. I find myself as more of a Bledsoe defender, I’d even say he may be a smidge more valuable than Khris given the latter’s monstrous salary, but I was surprised how little parity there was between voters now that we’re down to Bledsoe, Lopez and Midds.

I guess this is the vote to see how this whole exercise shakes out, since number one has been a foregone conclusion from the outset. Here’s a link to the full voting results.

Click here to vote for the next least valuable Buck


2019 Brew Hoop Roster Ranking

4. Eric Bledsoe

5. George Hill

6. Wesley Matthews

7. Pat Connaughton

8. Robin Lopez

9. Kyle Korver

10. Sterling Brown

11. D.J. Wilson

12. Ersan Ilyasova

13. Donte DiVincenzo

14. Dragan Bender

15. Thanasis Antetokounmpo