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Friday, September 6th, 2013 at 10:40 am  |  49 responses

Jamal Crawford Says Eric Bledsoe Will Become a Star


According to former LA Clippers teammate Jamal Crawford, Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe is undoubtedly on the verge of NBA stardom. Per HoopsWorld: “During his stint with the Clippers, Bledsoe was playing behind arguably the best point guard in the NBA in Chris Paul. Although this cut into the young point guard’s minutes, it was clearly the best thing for his game. He wasn’t ready to be a starter early in his career anyway, and he was essentially going through Point Guard 101 with Paul and Chauncey Billups – two of the best professors around for said course. Bledsoe grew up watching Paul and Billups and he would often say that it was ‘a blessing’ to be in the same locker room as those guys. Paul trained with Bledsoe individually last offseason and had his young back-up work at his basketball camp. During the season, he was constantly in Bledsoe’s ear, giving him advice and words of encouragement. Billups was just as helpful for Bledsoe. He would break down film with Bledsoe before nearly every game and served as an extension of the Clippers’ coaching staff. In addition to teaching Bledsoe about being an elite point guard, Paul and Billups were teaching him how to lead a team. Bledsoe admits that both players’ leadership style ‘rubbed off’ on him as a result of their teachings. The question is: How good will Bledsoe be now that he has an opportunity to put all of those lessons to use and take over his own team in Phoenix? [...] In Phoenix, where he’ll be asked to do much more and have the ball in his hands more often, his numbers are expected to increase significantly. He’s already being talked about as a candidate for the Most Improved Player award and all eyes will be on him to see how he performs. [...] Jamal Crawford, who played alongside Bledsoe last season in Los Angeles and raves about his incredible growth, believes that the young point guard is poised for big things. ‘He’ll be a star, no question,’ Crawford said of Bledsoe. ‘The guidance and tutelage from Chris and Chauncey and Mo Williams, who was here before, only made him better as a point guard. He’ll definitely be a star. I don’t know when because everybody’s [learning] curve is a little bit different, but there’s no question he’ll be a star. He has the athletic ability and he wants to get better. He has gotten better. A team like that in Phoenix, they’re going to see great results. I think he’ll be exciting to watch too. He was a joy to play with and his growth last year was tremendous. You never want somebody to get hurt, but when Chris went down, Bledsoe stepped in and he did a heck of a job.’”

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  • shockexchange

    The Shock Exchange thought he was going to date Lola Falana, but … er … aww forget it.

  • DK

    Preferred him over Wall at Kentucky–still do.

  • LakeShow

    He is already a defensive star.

    Time to complete his game. The problem is… He, like Avery Bradley, is not a true PG.

    He is a true baller though. Every team has room for that, but he is going to have to find a niche being a combo guard, which is very difficult to do successfully.

    He reminds me of Kyle Lowry and should have a similar impact to Lowry as far as being a 2 way player that can do a little bit of everything.

  • LakeShow

    You prefer players that aren’t as good as other players then…. Interesting.

  • DK

    You prefer to monitor SLAM’s online commenting section, racking up 4028 comments and countless thrills by attempting to demean and disprove the opinions of others. That’s interesting.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    huh? he’s much more of a PG than Bradley. What makes you even say this?

  • LakeShow

    Ehh, slightly more of a PG than Bradley.

    What makes you say he is a PG??

  • LakeShow

    That fact is, he is, and has not been, better than John Wall.

    I’m not trying to make you stop liking Bledsoe more than Wall. I don’t care, it’s just funny that someone would prefer a player more than another player when he isn’t as good.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i’ve seen him play. LOL
    .
    no but really his biggest offensive strength is his handle. Can’t really shoot, isn’t really big enough to consistently take advantage of slower SG’s. Plays best using a pick, and making a decision from there. Rather than cutting off the ball (Bradley) or spotting up (he can’t shoot).
    .
    and defensively, he’s obviously much more effective providing pressure all the way down the court.

  • LakeShow

    His handle is pretty good sure. So are allot of guys in the L.(Tyreke Evans)

    Still doesn’t make them a natural PG. Which is what i’m arguing.

    Natural PG:

    Stockton
    Nash
    Magic
    Kidd
    Payton
    Paul
    Wall

    He’s not a natural PG. Obviously. That’s fine, he can still play the position effectively, because like you said he has good handles and is good at pick in roll.

    He’ll be fine. As you know I love his game. Thrilled to watch them this year.

    BUT Dragic will lead them in assists, and is still their more natural play maker i’d recon.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    “Naturally a point guard” isn’t a real thing. Point Guard skills are learned. What makes Dragic more of a PG than Bledsoe for that matter? He is a shoot first guard who is actually a little more productive playing the SG position…. I just think skill wise, Bledsoe is much more PG than he is a SG. Same goes for Dragic, although I don’t think it’s as pronounced

  • Dash Jones

    I always thought Bledsoe never got the shine he deserved even in his Kentucky days. I hope he does work in PHX

  • LakeShow

    You just want to argue.

    We both know Bledsoe is not a natural PG.

    You know what a “natural PG” is, common man.

    We know your not shot out of the vagina passing the rock to people, but some dudes are naturally going to enjoy and be good at setting people up and other are not.

    He’s somewhere in between.

    He’s not Nash, but he can be Lowry/Westbrook like.

    That’s why I actually like the Dragic/Bledsoe combo, both can play to their strengths while the other plays faux-PG.

  • bobby

    wtf are you talking about? hes obv a point guard. stop with all this “natural pg” bullsh1t. Russ Westbrook is a pg, D.Rose is a pg, and bledsoe is a pg. just bc they dont play like John Stockton doesnt mean their not pg’s

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you are just talking about guys who prefer to pass. and you are calling that a “natural point guard” — when, again, natural point guard is not a thing. People try and call that “pure point guard” — because they have drummed up (like you have apparently) some opinion that a point guard should have a certain skill set and style of play.
    .
    which has never proven to be more effective than any other. thus, making me hate the term(s) because, frankly, they don’t mean anything other than, “likes to pass more than shoot”

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    oh and of course, i just want to argue. this has been established.

  • spit hot fiyah

    his handle? he looks extremely sloppy to me with handle, turnover waiting to happen a lot of times.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    he turns the ball over 3.2 times per 36 minutes.
    .
    Russell Westbrook – 3.4
    Kyrie Irving – 3.4
    Tony Parker – 2.8
    .
    i mean, pretty much right where a PG his age should be. Most starting PG’s outside of Chris Paul are right around this number

  • spit hot fiyah

    i would think that number is low because he played off the ball a lot. if u could find those numbers for that stretch of games when he was starting when paul was out it would be very interesting to see.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no problem.
    .
    12 games started. 32mpg. 2.6 turnovers per game.
    .
    http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/b/bledser01/gamelog/2013/#159-172-sum:pgl_basic

  • LakeShow

    Always good when your thoughts match up with facts haha.

    I was thinking the same thing as Spit, and then looked at exactly what you pointed out earlier, and realized, yes he looks a little scary and out of control at times, but the numbers don’t back that up.

    Keep in mind that defenses were not actually trying stop him last year like they will be this year though…

    It’s going to be fun to see how special this kid can be though.

    He could become a 15 – 5 – 5 – 2 -1 guy pretty quickly I think.

  • LakeShow

    heheh

  • LakeShow

    In my mind I still think that a PG get’s you 10 dimes before 20 points.

    If you don’t feel that way, that is fine…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i mean i can be wrong a lot, i get that. but i feel like i have a pretty good handle on most of what i claim to.

  • DK

    You can’t make me stop doing anything. What you present as fact is irrelevant to me. Your alias or whatever is LakeShow I’m guessing you prefer the Lakers… are there better teams certainly–but that’s your preference. See how that works? Have a good one.

  • LakeShow

    I can’t stop you. Correct.

    But I can show you why you are wrong and let you live with those facts knowing the truth in your head.

    Have a goodie.

  • Lenin-Gil Phillips

    Goran Dragic will still be starting PG.

  • LakeShow

    The funniest thing about all this is neither are perfect PG’s.

    They are both combo guards, but they will make it work.

    I like to think of both of them as the PG’s of the team.

  • bigA

    You don’t even make sense : “You prefer to monitor SLAM’s online commenting section,…” What are you comparing?

    He critized your opinion at the end of the day. Whatever, it all lead up to LakeShow being so mad that he really upset NBK this time, NBKizzle having to explain/defend his overview. I only read the last comment of their comment-beef in this thread.

    NBK: “i mean i can be wrong a lot, i get that. but i feel like i have a pretty good handle on most of what i claim to.”

    Anyways what I am trying to say LakeShow you should say: “Appreciate your insight NBK, mate!” *obviously saying that with a nice Australian accent. I’m done.

  • bigA

    man, I needed like 20 minutes writing that comment. It happened riding on the Friday only highday of the week day.
    So anyways, stop hating.

  • The Seed

    Like I have stated Bledsoe will be a better player than Wall and Clippers should have kept him. Paul is injury prone. Clippers are going nowhere with Paul. The past two years, the Clippers should have made a run at a title, so why do people think they will now. DOC right, NOOO. Bledsoe will be like Harden and everyone will state once Clippers are knocked out of the playoffs again. They should have kept Bledsoe, or WHEN Paul gets hurt. LOL

  • Nathan Shane Long

    if Eric Bledsoe developed a jumper this offseason he will become a star in Phoenix and become their franchise player because athletically speaking Bledsoe is like BABY LEBRON just in a smaller frame and body type but just as explosive and his only weakness has been his lack of shooting range typical overhyped high school recruit all flash no fundamental skills that is what Bledsoe was back then and still is now hopefully he can have a breakthrough in Phoenix this season

  • Nbk

    I’m gay, btw

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Oh good for you man

  • Basketball_iQ

    His handles are effective bc he’s a scorer first,,, distributor – not so much brotha.
    But I think we all can agree with Jamal that Bledsoe is on the verge

  • COYNE

    Everyone taking what Lakeshow is saying way too literally, the natural ethos of a PG is to play the role of an orchestrator, like a Quarterback, obviously there are deviations. Everyone just arguing because he’s a Laker guy?

  • COYNE

    Brilliant

  • http://triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    Im looking forward to seeing what bledsoe and dragic achieve together: if Bledsoe can keep the starter spot, stay on the floor and drive that PHX engine I think he’ll walk away with MIP award and all defense second team.

  • spit hot fiyah

    very surprising, thanks

  • Caboose

    Would you agree that there are players who can run a team offense better than others? If so, it’s that what we mean by the pg?

  • Caboose

    You like Kobe more than LeBron…

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    Yeah, definitely. But those guys can run an offense better AND enjoy shooting more than passing.
    .
    Tony Parker
    .
    See?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    I’m arguing because its what I do. He should have really said “pure” not “natural” – but I still don’t like the pure point guard label just as much as the natural one. As I explained above

  • Caboose

    Oh I agree. One doesn’t need to be pass first to be a “true PG.” Just wanted to establish that the idea of a true PG is NOT nonsensical.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    True in the Sense that they are good at running a team yeah. Not natural in the sense that people are born with the skillset of a pass first point guard

  • Caboose

    Word.

  • CUD

    So what do you suggest we call Lebron? Unnatural/Unpure
    Small forward/power forward because he prefers to pass first and run the plays than scoring alot and taking big shots? LOL.. Sorry I had too..

  • LakeShow

    SF have long been do it all players.

    ……………………………………………………………………..

    Bird

    Dr. J

    Paul Pierce

    Rick Barry

    Scottie Pippen

    Elgin Baylor

    John Havelchik

  • LakeShow

    He said preferred, which to me suggests is better to him.

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