Preseason prediction: Will average over six free throw attempts per game
With the added space created by Budenholzer’s offense, I predicted that Bledsoe would use his strength on smaller guards to attack the rim and come away with more trips to the charity stripe.
Unfortunately, Bledsoe fell far short of the six per game I predicted, averaging just half that at 3.0 free throw attempts per game.
But in some ways, I was right. Outside of Giannis, Bledsoe has likely benefitted the most from Budenholzer’s arrival to Milwaukee, turning in his best season on both ends and turning it into a new rich and long-term contract.
Bledsoe doesn’t get to the free throw line as much as I hoped, but he still attacks the rim relentlessly when matched up on smaller or slower guards, using his killer first step and brute strength to muscle past guards when the paint is left unattended due to the shooting exploits of Brook Lopez.
Within five feet of the rim, Bledsoe is shooting a strong 66.4 percent on 5.7 attempts per game, impressive for a 6’1″ guard in the land of giants. Bledsoe’s shooting at the rim outdoes potent guards like Jimmy Butler, Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving.
In a sense, I was right about the kind of season Bledsoe was going to have under new coach Budenholzer, just not in the official prediction committed to paper.
Running tally: 0/2,1 push