Already showing unmistakable signs of brilliance in the Suns' first two preseason games, Eric Bledsoe is poised for a breakout season in the NBA. Click through to see the 6-1 guard's top five games of his career to date. Something tells us he'll have a brand new top five after the 2013-14 Suns season...
No. 5 - Feb. 10, 2013: With Chris Paul injured, Eric Bledsoe stepped up in a big way for the Clippers midway through the 2012-13 season. Against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, Bledsoe scored 13 points on 6-of-6 shooting with four rebounds, three blocks and three assists. More significantly, Bledsoe brought the Clippers back in the fourth quarter through an amazing sequence of plays. The guard first hit a 3-pointer, then blocked a shot and assisted on a Jamal Crawford layup to give Los Angeles the lead en route to a 102-88 win. “[Bledsoe] changes it just with his athleticism out there, puts a lot of pressure on your defense,” former Clippers Head Coach Vinny Del Negro said after the game. “He made some shots tonight, controlled the tempo.”
No. 4 - Dec. 9, 2012: Playing on his 23rd birthday, Bledsoe scored 14 points and added six assists, four rebounds and two steals in just 20 minutes of play. In fact, Bledsoe tallied 10 of his 14 points in the final period which helped Los Angeles outscore Toronto 25-10 in the quarter for a 102-83 win.
No. 3 - Jan. 15, 2013: Starting in place of the injured Chris Paul, Eric Bledsoe demonstrated true star power in the Clippers’ 117-109 win over the Houston Rockets. Bledsoe played 37 minutes and tallied an impressive stat line of 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals. He was also a perfect 1-of-1 from downtown and 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
No. 2 -- Feb. 3, 2013: Again starting in place of six-time All-Star Chris Paul, Eric Bledsoe led a furious comeback by the Clippers against the Boston Celtics on the road. After trailing by as many as 19 points in the second half, Bledsoe’s 23 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and two steals helped bring the Clippers to within striking distance. Los Angeles had a chance to win the game before Paul Pierce hit a 3-pointer to put Boston up by five with under three seconds to play. Los Angeles ended up falling to the Celtics by two, 106-104. Nevertheless, Bledsoe finished with an efficiency rating of 33 (the best of his career) and proved that with him in the game, his team is never out.
No. 1 - Feb. 6, 2013: With Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and Jamal Crawford out due to injuries, Bledsoe helped the Clippers defeat the Orlando Magic 86-76 on the road in the middle of a 14-day, eight-game road trip. Bledsoe finished with the best stat line of his career, scoring 27 points while adding seven rebounds, six steals and three assists. Perhaps more important, his best showing came during a 12-game stretch without Chris Paul – thus, effectively proving that Bledsoe has the leadership, ability and desire to become a bona-fide star in the NBA.