FanPost

Eric Bledsoe's Ceiling

Hello all,

I admit that I like Eric Bledsoe as a talent and want him to do well. There is no question that he has great athletic skills. In terms of pure athleticism I think he is as good as it gets for anyone his size. No doubt this is the reason that in the 2010 draft Neil Olshey traded a future first-round pick (top ten protected) for him. The NBA historically however, has been full of great athletes who don't become good NBA players. I do think some of that may be due to poor coaching and being in the wrong circumstance.

Can Bledsoe become a player who puts his physical talent together with NBA skills to become a good NBA player (point guard)? I don't think he is a natural point guard, but neither was Russell Westbrook when he entered the league (a player who also is physically gifted who had to learn the position). I think that he needs to get better with his ball handling. He is turnover prone. He needs consistency with his shot. But last year with more minutes I think he showed a lot more than he has had the chance to show this season. I think he does have passing ability and some court vision. I think if he got some personal attention from some of the people he has on the team (like CP3 and Chauncey especially) he could learn some of the finer points of the game and harness his skills.

It doesn't help that right now he plays only a few minutes a game and has to look over his shoulder to see what VDN is going to do. He keeps him on a short leash. It looks like the only thing he is allowed to do is bring the ball up. In the half court after he brings the ball up he gives it to someone else and nothing happens. Playing with the less talented second unit the team could use some more movement offensively. Couldn't VDN have him do some penetration? I don't think it helps him or the team for that matter that VDN plays the second unit all at the same time instead of having a mix of first unit players with them. (I think either CP3 or Blake should always be on the floor).

I think he might be able to do it, and because his talent is too good to waste (and he is the only guard signed beyond next year) I think his development should be a higher priority although I don't know if it will happen with VDN as head coach. There will be people who will cite this year's or last year's stats to say he can't do it. But looking at stats only tells you about what has happened and not about what could happen. Is Blake Griffin destined to be a poor free throw shooter for example? What about the players who do improve their game over the course of their careers?

I think it is too early to give up on him and not put serious effort into trying to develop him into being a better player.

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