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Eric Bledsoe (rib) able to do non-contact stuff in Bucks practice

Bucks, Eric Bledsoe

Milwaukee Bucks point guard Eric Bledsoe was able to do non-contact stuff in practice on Wednesday.

Bledsoe is recovering from a small fracture in his rib. He’s expected to start the regular season on the sideline.

While Bledsoe is out, the Bucks will likely start veteran George Hill. Milwaukee re-signed Hill in free agency this summer. The Bucks, of course, lost Malcolm Brogdon to the Indiana Pacers in a sign-and-trade deal.

Bledsoe averaged 15.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists last season for the Bucks, who had the best record in the NBA and made it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals.

In the ECF against the Toronto Raptors, Bledsoe struggled. He put up just 10.2 points per game and shot 29.4 percent overall and 17.2 percent from beyond the arc. The Bucks lost four straight games after taking a 2-0 lead and lost the series in six games.

Milwaukee is once again expected to compete for the Eastern Conference title this season. For that to happen, the Bucks need Bledsoe to be 100 percent. The team also will require their floor general to improve his shooting splits.

Because superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo collapses the paint on his drives to the basket, Bucks shooters usually get a lot of wide-open looks from deep. This season, Bledsoe has to shoot better from the 3-point line.