The original plan was for Bledsoe to undergo surgery Tuesday, which Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, would keep the Phoenix point guard out "about six weeks." Unfortunately, that is no longer the case.
This isn’t the first time Bledsoe’s season has ended early or started late because of a knee injury. Back when he was on the Clippers, he missed about half of his second NBA season (2011-12) because of a meniscus injury in his right knee. During his first season on the Suns (2013-14), he had issues with the same meniscus in the same knee.
Now, the problems have unfortunately transferred over to the left side, which is terrible news for Suns and general basketball fans alike.
Bledsoe has always been one of the NBA’s most exciting players. That was true even when he was just a bolt of energy coming off the Clippers’ bench, before he had the privilege of running his own offense in Phoenix. This season, though, out of Chris Paul’s and Goran Dragic’s shadows, Bledsoe had come into his own, building a legitimate All-Star case for himself.
The Suns point guard is averaging a career-high 20.4 points and 6.1 assists per game. He’d finally made strides in his jump shot across the board, too, shooting above league-average from midrange for the first time ever and hitting an impressive 37 percent of his 4.2 three-point attempts a night.
Phoenix will miss him on both sides of the ball. With all the offense he brings to the team, his defense might be the most ferocious part of his game, even if he does gamble like a Las Vegas fiend.
It wasn’t too long ago — just a few weeks, even — that the Suns were trying to contend, but now, at 12-21 with Bledsoe gone for the season, Markieff Morris on the bench and the block, and Tyson Chandler having his worst season in countless moon cycles, the question has become, should Phoenix shift into tank mode? Even with quality players like Brandon Knight still on the roster and with Nos. 7 and 8 seeds in the West looking weaker than they have in years, the Suns’ priorities may change with the Bledsoe injury news.