Bucks’ Bledsoe, Connaughton Not Yet Ready To Return

The Bucks will be without a pair of rotation players when their season resumes on Friday against the Celtics, as head coach Mike Budenholzer confirmed today that Eric Bledsoe and Pat Connaughton will remain sidelined for now, per Eric Woodyard of ESPN.

Both Bledsoe and Connaughton tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the summer, delaying their arrivals to the NBA’s Walt Disney World campus. They’ve each cleared quarantine and have returned to practice, but Budenholzer believes the two veterans need a little more time to get their conditioning and rhythm up to par.

“Everybody else is getting ready to play in a live game and have had 10 to 12 to 14 days of probably 5-on-5 every other day and individual work and all that, so I think giving Bled and Pat a couple of 5-on-5 sessions at a minimum and getting some 3-on-3 in other situations or days,” Budenholzer said, per Woodyard. “They just need to play, so I think that’s a big hurdle and with playing will come both conditioning and their rhythm, so we’re going to make sure they get some of that before we put them in an NBA game.”

With a comfortable 6.5-game lead on the Raptors for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Bucks can afford to play it safe in the seeding games as they gear up for the postseason. They’ll want Bledsoe and Connaughton to be back at 100% by the time the playoffs get underway on August 17.

Bledsoe, Milwaukee’s starting point guard, averaged 15.4 PPG, 5.4 APG, and 4.6 RPG and played strong perimeter defense in 56 games (27.2 MPG) this season. Connaughton provided depth on the wing, averaging 5.1 PPG and 4.2 RPG in 61 contests (18.3 MPG).

The duo hasn’t been ruled out beyond Friday, so it’s possible one or both of them will be ready to go on Sunday night when the Bucks face Houston.

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5 thoughts on “Bucks’ Bledsoe, Connaughton Not Yet Ready To Return

  1. harden-westbrook-mvps

    There’s no point in rushing them since the Bucks basically have an insurmountable lead over Toronto for the #1 seed. No need for them to play on Sunday.

  2. KnickerbockerAl

    Yeah Bucks just need to be ready for playoffs. Even though I think Bucks are favorites. The East playoffs down to 4 teams. Will be very competitive. I always believed this yrs playoffs. Were going to be very competitive. But never thought this stuff. Teams have to follow protocol. The healthy teams will have best opportunities. Anything can happen. From here to finals.

    • harden-westbrook-mvps

      West is way more competitive, where almost anyone can lose in rounds one or two. The top 4 eastern teams are virtual locks to make round two: Bucks, Raptors, Celtics, and Heat. I think the team people are overlooking is Miami.

      • x%sure

        The Celtics & Heat are hoping the Bucks & Raptors get the Sixers first. The Heat do sport cool unis his year though.

  3. Buckman

    Without home court advantage, missing players and the possibility of covid related losses, this year’s playoffs are going to be interesting.

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