New Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe took in his first apply with the staff on Thursday in San Antonio.(Photo: Matt Velazquez / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
SAN ANTONIO – As the Milwaukee Bucks wrapped up apply Thursday at AT&T Center, Eric Bledsoe sat alongside the sideline, by no means trying to cover his pleasure.
It did not matter that he had gotten to San Antonio round midnight following an extended day of journey from Phoenix to Milwaukee the place he underwent bodily exams with staff officers.
It additionally did not matter that he was held off form whereas the staff awaited affirmation that Greg Monroe had handed his bodily with the Phoenix Suns, thus consummating Tuesday’s commerce.
Decked out in Bucks gear, Bledsoe continuously discovered himself with causes to smile as he settled in along with his new staff.
“It’s cool; it’s a great feeling and vibe,” Bledsoe said of joining the Bucks. “Everything about it is amazing.”
Bledsoe’s arrival in San Antonio marked a turning of the web page from one of many extra fascinating NBA storylines this season. Following a public falling out with Suns, Bledsoe has primarily been a person with no staff for nearly three weeks.
He was despatched house and barred from the Suns’ services as of Oct. 23, solely regaining entry earlier this week, although he wasn’t capable of work out along with his teammates throughout that point.
“It’s been cool, actually,” Bledsoe said. “It hasn’t been that bad as far as not playing for the past few weeks. I’ve gotten the chance to watch a lot of basketball, hang out with the family and work on my game and get in better shape.”
Bledsoe wasn’t capable of display his stage of health or work along with his new teammates on Thursday, however he did get a superb have a look at the staff and system that he is joined. Thursday’s apply made fairly the impression on the eight-year veteran.
“Shoot, they practice hard,” Bledsoe said. “Hard, intense, they get after each other. They look to make each other better, that’s how I look at it.”
Since becoming a member of the NBA because the 18th total decide within the 2010 draft, Bledsoe has established himself as a robust two-way participant. The 6-foot-1 guard has averaged 13.1 factors, four.6 badists, three.eight rebounds and 1.four steals per recreation whereas capturing 44.four% from the sphere and 33.four% on three-pointers.
His well-regarded defensive skill is of explicit curiosity to the Bucks. Milwaukee’s protection has been one of many worst within the league this season, and the addition of a fast, veteran ball stopper on the level of badault may make a significant distinction for the Bucks.
“Watching practice it’s all they worked on,” Bledsoe mentioned in regards to the Bucks’ protection. “Rotations, speaking, you’ve bought to be there and that’s just about what the sport is.”
Offensively, Bledsoe can create on or off the ball, utilizing his quickness to maneuver by means of defenses, particularly in pick-and-roll conditions. As of but, he is not positive how the Bucks will use him — whether or not he’ll begin or come off the bench, if he’ll run the purpose or play on the wing.
But after getting shut down for the ultimate month of final season whereas having a profession yr and being despatched house for practically three weeks this season, Bledsoe actually is not fearful in regards to the semantics of what occurs subsequent.
“It doesn’t matter as lengthy we win,” Bledsoe said. “That’s the one factor that issues. Everything else, it don’t matter. …
“I’m trying to make guys higher, make it straightforward on a number of the guys like Giannis (Antetokounmpo), Khris (Middleton), (Malcolm) Brogdon.”
Lightening Antetokounmpo’s load is of explicit significance contemplating how a lot the Bucks’ star has been shouldering this season. He’s main the league in factors per recreation (31.9), third in minutes per recreation (37.2) and has taken 25.5% of Milwaukee’s photographs.
Now that he is in Milwaukee, Bledsoe’s wanting ahead to taking part in alongside Antetokounmpo, providing him one other outlet and hopefully relieving a few of his stress.
“He’s unstoppable,” Bledsoe said. “When I used to be in Phoenix we couldn’t guard him. We knew he couldn’t shoot, however that didn’t cease him from taking part in his recreation.”
That alternative may come as quickly as eight p.m. Friday when the Bucks goal to finish their four-game skid as they tackle the San Antonio Spurs. It’s seemingly Bledsoe, who will put on No. 6, will likely be activated by that point contemplating Monroe took the court docket for apply in Phoenix on Thursday afternoon.
“I hope so, we’re (waiting) on Greg,” Bledsoe said with a laugh after watching Milwaukee’s practice. “I’m excited to get back to playing.”
Call up: There was one other new face on the Bucks’ apply Thursday, although it wasn’t an unfamiliar one. Joel Bolomboy, one in all Milwaukee’s two-way gamers who has been with the staff for practices previously, joined the staff in San Antonio on Wednesday.
It virtually did not occur.
Bolomboy was in Salt Lake City with the Wisconsin Herd on Tuesday night time and as he normally does, put his cellphone on “do not disturb” mode as he ready to fall asleep. Luckily proper earlier than he went to mattress near midnight, he checked his cellphone one final time and noticed a textual content telling him that he wanted to hitch the Bucks the following day.
With Monroe gone and the frontcourt a bit leaner, the 6-foot-9, 235-pound ahead who logged 12 video games with the Utah Jazz final season, may see some added alternatives with the Bucks. Neither he nor Kidd is certain if Bolomboy will likely be activated for Friday’s recreation, however on the very least he is exhibiting what he can do in apply.
“The main thing they told me is just to be myself,” Bolomboy said. “The toughness I have, my rebounding ability and just my athleticism, just don’t try to be that guy that does stuff he can’t do or tries to do too much. Just keep it simple and everything I bring to the table is what they need and what they want from me.”
Fined: As he anticipated he could be, Kidd was fined $15,000 by the NBA for his public criticism of officiating following Milwaukee’s loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday.
During his postgame feedback, Kidd expressed frustration with the officiating of the Bucks’ previous three video games through which their opponents acquired 95 free throws whereas the Bucks had simply 40.
“The different crews that we’ve had have been awful,” Kidd mentioned Tuesday. “It’s just a matter of understanding the game is being called one way and unfortunately it’s not in our favor right now, but that’ll change.”