Bledsoe totaled three points (1-6 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 1-2 FT), seven assists and five rebounds across 22 minutes in Monday's 120-102 preseason loss to the Jazz. The veteran point guard couldn't get much going from the field but was effective setting up his teammates for scoring opportunities. Bledsoe has yet to score in double digits through three exhibitions, and he's 3-for-14 from the field over the last two. However, given his established body of work, there's little reason to believe his struggles are the product of anything more than some rust after he was shut down for the 2016-17 season in mid-March. He'll look to continue sharpening his game versus the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.
Bledsoe went for eight points (2-8 FG, 2-6 3Pt, 2-2 FT), two assists, one rebound and two steals across 26 minutes in Friday's 112-101 preseason loss to the Jazz. The veteran saw a solid workload for the second consecutive exhibition, and the knee soreness that plagued him near the end of his playing time last season appears to be a non-factor at present. Bledsoe has offered modest production through the first pair of preseason games, but given his established track record, there's no reason to question the numbers. The 27-year-old should be in line for heavy minutes at the point once again in the coming campaign, although head coach Earl Watson now knows he has a capable backup in Tyler Ulis to call upon when necessary.
The Suns indicated that Bledsoe has been playing through left knee soreness lately and will be shut down for the rest of the season in order to recover, Doug Haller of The Arizona Republic reports. Though the historically brittle Bledsoe has enjoyed relatively strong health this season, he popped up on the Suns' injury report last week with the left knee issue. With the Suns out of playoff contention, it appears coach Earl Watson isn't inclined to let the point guard play through the injury any longer. Bledsoe is probably still worth holding in mid-sized or shallower formats for a little bit longer in the event the organization reverses the decision, but Bledsoe's expected absence over the Suns' final 14 games will pave the way for Tyler Ulis to serve as the team's starting point guard. Ulis put up 13 points (6-18 FG, 1-5 3Pt), 13 assists, two steals, one rebound and one block across 39 minutes in Wednesday's 107-101 loss to the Kings and should make for a solid pickup across most formats while he remains in line for hefty minutes the rest of the way.
Updating a previous report, Bledsoe won't play Wednesday against the Kings in order to rest, according to Craig Grialou of ArizonaSports.com. Bledsoe participated in warmups, but it looks like the Suns only plan to use him in an emergency. The point guard has surprisingly been an iron man this season, appearing in all but one game heading into Wednesday, but the Suns could limit his usage over the final month of the season in a not-so-subtle effort to improve their lottery odds. Tyler Ulis will start at point guard Wednesday and make for an intriguing DFS play, as well as a quality season-long pickup if he sticks in the starting five going forward.
Bledsoe will come off the bench for Wednesday's game against the Kings, Craig Grialou of ArizonaSports.com reports. Bledsoe has played in every game but one this season, and started all of those contests. However, perhaps as a means of limiting Bledsoe's workload down the stretch while the Suns prepare for a lottery-bound season, rookie Tyler Ulis will be promoted to the starting five and should be in line for the larger portion of the workload at point guard. Bledsoe's play has been declining of late after a red-hot start to February, and if his move to the bench lasts for more than a game, his appeal in DFS would take a significant hit.
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