Starting Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe has officially joined the squad in Orlando following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Less than 24 hours before the start of their first scrimmage in Orlando, the Milwaukee Bucks have landed quite the familiar reinforcement.
Starting Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe joined the squad in Orlando, as confirmed by the Bucks’ very own Twitter account, after previously testing positive for COVID-19, which obviously delayed his initial arrival with the team as they first arrived in Orlando two weeks ago.
For Bledsoe to arrive in Orlando was a big step as that meant producing two consecutive negative tests before he was cleared to join his teammates and the rest of the Bucks’ traveling party.
Per the league’s protocol, Bledsoe now must go into quarantine for two days down in Orlando before rejoining his squad in practice sessions.
That now leaves Pat Connaughton as the only absence for the Bucks going into the restart after he revealed earlier this week that he had also tested positive for COVID-19. The timeline for Connaughton’s return has yet to be clarified as of this writing.
While the Bucks wait for Connaughton’s return, the timing of Bledsoe’s arrival really couldn’t have worked out any better for the Bucks as they’re a little over a week out from officially resuming play when they take on the Boston Celtics on July 31.
It obviously goes without saying that Bledsoe looms very large in the Bucks’ foundation and to any aspirations they have in winning an NBA championship in a few months time and under an unprecedented set of circumstances.
With his ability to slice into opposing defenses at will while simultaneously offering incredibly strong perimeter defense and check some of the best scoring guards in the league, Bledsoe’s two-way abilities make up a critical component in the Bucks’ formula.
Of course, Bledsoe’s talents have yet to carry into any sort of reassuring play over each of the Bucks’ last two playoff runs, which creates all sorts of uncomfortable questions as the team arguably has their best shot of winning their first NBA title in nearly 50 years.
We still have some time before those questions will be answered, but it certainly makes Bledsoe perhaps the biggest player who could swing the Bucks’ title hopes. We’re clearly getting ahead of schedule as Bledsoe will have to take care of his personal quarantine before getting back on to the practice court, at the very least.
And given that Bledsoe’s quarantine runs right up to the Bucks’ second scrimmage on Saturday morning against the Sacramento Kings, Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer may hold out Bledsoe altogether to have him tune up for the remainder of the season.
It’s certainly a refreshing and welcome sight to see Bledsoe rejoin the squad, but also appear happy and healthy following his brush with COVID-19. But the pressure will soon be on Bledsoe and the Bucks overall to finish what they all started.