Bucks teammates reassure Eric Bledsoe after he struggles yet again in Game 4 loss to Raptors
The Milwaukee Bucks starters were determined to have a much better shooting night after the trio of Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton and Eric Bledsoe combined to shoot a ghastly 22.9% from the field in Game 3 against the Toronto Raptors.
Antetokounmpo did his part, pouring in 25 points and 10 rebounds while shooting over 50%. Middleton lit up Scotiabank Arena, putting up a game-high 30 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-7 from downtown.
Yet Bledsoe’s shooting struggles continued, scoring only five points in 20 minutes, as the starting point guard got the quick hook from coach Mike Budenholzer, who quickly saw him struggling with his shot.
“For Bled, it’s just making sure he understands we wouldn’t be here without him,” teammate Pat Connaughton told ESPN’s Malika Andrews. “Everybody gets frustrated with themselves when they are not playing well because they feel like they are letting the team down. He wants to play well for his teammates.”
Bledsoe feasted on the Detroit Pistons in the first round, averaging 19.3 points and shooting a strong 53.5% from the floor, but his averages declined as the Bucks made their playoff climb, shooting only a serviceable 41% against the Boston Celtics.
His shooting only got worst against the Raptors, as he’s failed to make more of 30% of his shots in each of the four games, now averaging a ghastly 8.3 points per game in 25.6% shooting.
“I tell him just forget about it,” said Middleton of his backcourt mate. “That’s the only way you can play better, is if you stop thinking about it so much.”
“The series is two to two. It’s not the end of the world. I know Game 5 is going to be a dog fight.”
Fortunately for the Bucks, there will be a quick turnaround to put things behind them, turning the page from an ugly 120-102 loss into Game 5 in home confines, hoping to put the Raptors on the brink of elimination on Thursday.