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Milwaukee Bucks starting Eric Bledsoe in team debut

By The Sports Xchange
Milwaukee Bucks starting Eric Bledsoe in team debut
Former Phoenix Suns guard Eric Bledsoe (2) goes to the basket against the Washington Wizards in the first half at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. File photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

Newly acquired Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe participated in the morning shootaround and will be in the starting lineup for Friday night's game against the San Antonio Spurs.

Bucks coach Jason Kidd told reporters Friday that Bledsoe will get the start over reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon, who has started all nine of Milwaukee's games this season.

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Brogdon will come off the bench in San Antonio at AT&T Center, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Brogdon is averaging 16.2 points and 4.9 assists this season after making 28 starts as a rookie.

The Bucks acquired Bledsoe on Tuesday from the Phoenix Suns in exchange for injured center Greg Monroe and protected 2018 first and second-round picks.

RELATED NBA rumors: Milwaukee Bucks to acquire Eric Bledsoe from Phoenix Suns

Kidd liked what he saw after Bledsoe participated in his first shootaround with the Bucks.

"For his first day of shootaround, you could see the dynamic of his speed, something that we don't have at that position," Kidd said. "So we'll find out here quickly. It's going to take some time for him to understand his teammates and understand the defensive and offensive schemes.

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"But he's a pro. He's a very smart young man. He can help us. He's going to start (Friday). We're going to start him and start that relationship with the starting group."

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The 27-year-old Bledsoe joined Milwaukee in San Antonio on Thursday but was unable to practice because his new team was awaiting confirmation that the trade was finalized with Monroe passing the Suns physical.

"It feels good, man. It's been almost three weeks that I haven't been on the court playing," Bledsoe said Friday. "I was working out, but it's not the same as playing with the physicality and the level of competition, playing against people. It feels good to get back from that aspect. It's a comfort zone for me. I love the game. I grew up playing it. So nothing has changed."

Bledsoe averaged 15.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists in three games for the Suns this season -- his fifth with the team. He is entering his eighth NBA season and owns career averages of 13.1 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists.

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Bledsoe has not appeared in a game since the Suns' 130-88 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Oct. 21, in which he played 24 minutes and finished with four points on 1-of-4 shooting.

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Two days later, Phoenix general manager Ryan McDonough sent Bledsoe home after the point guard tweeted "I don't wanna be here" just hours before the Suns fired coach Earl Watson and replaced him with interim coach Jay Triano. Bledsoe was fined $10,000 by the NBA for the tweet.

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