The Suns are currently two games behind the 8th seeded Mavericks; but they are still celebrating today even after a loss yesterday. Offseason-acquisition Eric Bledsoe made his return to the Suns’ line up against the Cavs Wednesday night. He came off the bench and contributed 15 points and 9 assists to the stat sheet along with 2 steals. In his first action after missing 33 games, Bledsoe reminded all his skeptics what he was capable of and came back to play 32 minutes.
This next chunk of schedule is important for Phoenix, as seven of their next eleven games are against teams below the .500 mark. Though the Suns did recently just defeat the Thunder, they’ve hit a bit of a skid while the Mavericks, Grizzlies, and Warriors are all getting hot. Even the Knicks have been winners of five straight. New York fans must be happy with the Knicks’ recent winning as they’ve pulled within three games of a playoff spot this year and they’ll have Phil Jackson to pull free agents to Madison Square Garden and guide the Knicks deep into the postseason in the future (Knick fans hope, at least).
Gerald Green did not play well in Bledsoe’s return, going 4-14 and fouling out against the Cavs, and Phoenix couldn’t afford Green’s struggles with Tucker serving a one-game suspension for an altercation with Blake Griffin. Although Dragic scored 20 and had 5 assists, Cleveland still came out on top behind 23 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists from Kyrie Irving and a steady 19 point contribution from Spencer Hawes. Hawes went 3-4 from beyond the arc last night in a game where three point percentage was a real difference maker; Phoenix lost that battle by a large margin as they shot just 27% from behind the three point line while Cleveland made half of their threes.
Certainly as Bledsoe gets back up to game speed and plays among a very talented group of players in Phoenix, the Suns will make a push to make it to the playoffs. Being counted out in almost every game against contenders they play, every game has been like a playoff game for the Suns, and they aren’t backing down from the dog pile of a playoff scenario in the Western Conference.