http://www.azcentral.com/story/sports/nba/suns/2015/10/19/phoenix-suns-eager-bledsoe-knight-chemistry/74244636/Suns point guards Eric Bledsoe and Brandon Knight have shared the court for a total of 11 minutes in the preseason, all of them back in the opener on Oct. 7. Circumstances keep getting in the way of the two starters actually playing together.
Early in camp, with seemingly so much time ahead to forge chemistry with each other, the pair squared off in scrimmages. Then Bledsoe sat out the second preseason game and missed the next two with an illness.
The two were already operating with a dearth of shared court time – an ankle injury limited Knight to just 11 games last season after he was acquired from the Milwaukee Bucks – and with two preseason games left there is precious little time to lay down that groundwork on which the Suns’ two-point-guard system is based.
“We’ll see how the minutes go, but any time we can be on the court together before we get to the real thing, against another team, I think that will help us,” Knight said.
Bledsoe is healthy now, having fought off a stomach bug. But the final two preseason games are on back-to-back nights – Tuesday at the San Antonio Spurs, Wednesday at the Dallas Mavericks – meaning minutes against Dallas could be limited for several players.
The 25-year-old Bledsoe and 23-year-old Knight will have to learn each other’s rhythms on the fly, hoping that two preseason games and seven days of practice after that is enough to get the job done before the regular season begins. Neither seems that worried about it.
“We both get in the paint and create for other players as well as ourselves,” Bledsoe said. “I think it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Bledsoe is entering his third year in the dual point-guard system. He isn’t daunted by playing off the ball, pointing out he did just that in college and in high school.
Knight isn’t as used to playing without the basketball, but does have experience playing with another point. When Ramon Sessions was traded to the Bucks midway through the 2013-14 season, Knight and Sessions played a significant amount of minutes together.
“I’ve been in that situation before,” he said.
The Suns hope the pair’s respective skill sets complement each other. Bledsoe is an athletic marvel who drives with authority and has become better at finding the open teammate, more than doubling his assists total from Year 1 in Phoenix to Year 2.
Knight is a stronger shooter, owning a career .365 percentage from behind the arc. But they’re not exactly one-dimensional, either.
“Brandon can penetrate and kick and 'Bled' can shoot the ball, too,” coach Jeff Hornacek said. “We feel that we’ve got two good weapons there. If they move the ball and alternate between the two and really attack, then we’ll have teams on the defensive.”