Welcome to the Brew Hoop’s entirely subjective and emotionally-driven 2019-20 Milwaukee Bucks season player evaluations! Similar to last year’s series, we’ll take a look at each current Buck and ask three questions: what do they do that helps (Boon), what do they do that hurts (Bane), and whether they ought to be on this team (Belonging).
In this edition, we take a look at Eric Bledsoe, how his performance impacted the Bucks, and if he’s the right fit moving forward.
Bledsoe’s Boon: Aggressiveness
When Eric Bledsoe is at his best, he’s aggressive. However, not too aggressive — that’s the key. What does that mean? Essentially, knowing his role. He’s not going to be the sharpshooter that Khris Middleton is. Rather, it’s how he always defines himself to the media that brings forth his success. Bled has always referred to himself as a bulldog. He classifies that when he drives to the rim and has success in that facet. When he has that going with his game, Milwaukee is extremely tough to beat. All the other pieces fall into place, and Bled isn’t doing too much. In addition to the aggressiveness to the iron, it can cause defenses to collapse, which allows Bled to facilitate the basketball to other open players. However, like I said, if he becomes too aggressive, that’s where it causes problems for the Bucks.
Bledsoe’s Bane: Playoff Inconsistency
This is something that we’ve seen three years in a row now. First it was against the Celtics, then it was against the Raptors, and this year it was against the Heat. Every year, we enter the playoffs wondering, Is this when Bledsoe turns it around? Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this year in the series against Miami. Rather, it was the same frustration that we’ve seen all too many times with Bledsoe — highlighted by his poor shot selection. On multiple occasions, Bled took a shot early in the shot clock, sometimes without Antetokounmpo or Middleton even touching the basketball. Not only were they bricks, they were straight up momentum killers and always provided a boost to Miami.
Does Bledsoe belong?
This may be the most crucial decision Jon Horst makes during the offseason. As mentioned earlier, Bledsoe has had numerous opportunities to prove that he’s the right fit at the point guard position for this Milwaukee Bucks team. Unfortunately, his fizzling out of the playoffs hasn’t solidified anything. Trade Machine proposals are already swirling around the heads of and Twitter feeds of Bucks fans, with Chris Paul emerging as a popular replacement. Given the franchise’s desire to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo in a Buck uniform for the foreseeable future and commitment to keeping Milwaukee an NBA Finals contender, it wouldn’t be too big of a surprise if Bledsoe has played his last game as a member of the Bucks.