Though new Pelicans starting point guard Eric Bledsoe faces a tall task in replacing fan favorite guard Jrue Holiday, he still will prove a dependable starter for a New Orleans team with a good chance to at least qualify for a play-in game, as William Guillory of the Athletic details.
“The same role (Holiday) had here, I’m kind of in. But at the same time, I’ve still got to play my game,” Bledsoe said. “(My role is) defense, helping guys get better … trying to be a leader and going out there to help them win games.”
Guillory expects Bledsoe, a two-time All-Defensive Team selection who relies on a killer first step to score, to help lead a supercharged backcourt alongside Lonzo Ball. That tandem scored a combined 34 points on a 10-of-21 shooting from the floor tonight in a 113-99 defeat of the Raptors.
There’s more out of the Southwest Division:
- Ahead of the Spurs‘ 2020/21 season, John Hollinger of the Athletic previewed the club’s outlook. Hollinger notes that 30-something veterans LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Patty Mills and Rudy Gay could control the ball for extended stretches of possessions, though the advanced age and short-term contracts of most of those players are increasingly at odds with the timeline for the team’s younger prospects.
- Rockets big man Bruno Caboclo agreed to push back the deadline for his 2020/21 salary to become fully guaranteed to February 27, 2021 (the league-wide deadline), according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (via Twitter). It had previously been scheduled to become guaranteed today.
- Now on his third team in three seasons, new Mavericks swingman Josh Richardson will be expected to guard the opposing team’s toughest perimeter players, according to Callie Caplan of the Dallas Morning News. Richardson has the length and speed to convincingly defend several positions.