The Basketball Gods Show No Mercy:
At 21-12, the Phoenix Suns were sitting pretty in the seventh spot in the Western Conference. For a team that was expected to contend for the worst record in the league with the Philadelphia 76ers, any playoff spot qualified as “sitting pretty” in an overwhelmingly competitive conference. Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe weren’t just co-existing together in the backcourt, they were thriving. But the basketball gods have been as consistent this year as they’ve been cruel, and according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, Bledsoe will require knee surgery and is out indefinitely.
Last night’s big comeback win against the Minnesota Timberwolves might have been the peak of the 2013-14 season for the Suns. Dragic going into full Dragon mode was the key to snagging the victory, but for the majority of the night, Phoenix struggled mightily without Bledsoe. Dragic has been the exception, averaging 23.8 points, six assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals since Bledsoe went out with what was called a knee sprain. He’s also shot 48.6 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from 3-point range. But overall, Phoenix hasn’t been the same team with Bledsoe on the sidelines.
It should also be pointed out that the Suns still have a respectable 5-5 record in the 10 games Bledsoe’s missed this season. But make no mistake about it: Bledsoe’s injury is a devastating blow in 99 percent of the scenarios that can play out from here. I’m not normally a pessimistic guy, but at this point in the season Bledsoe’s injury is the worst news possible that leaves Phoenix stranded in the worst possible place: the middle. Let’s take a look at the best and worst-case scenarios that could result from this injury.