Eric Bledsoe
(Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

The New Orleans Pelicans are a team that is teeming with talent. However, despite their talent, they are sitting at a 17-23 record. They are 11th in the West and one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA. Although the blame cannot be solely given to one player, a lot of it can. That player is veteran guard Eric Bledsoe.

The Pelicans have been a solid team offensively with their trio of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Lonzo Ball. Lonzo Ball is the best point guard on the team, in spite of his inconsistency problem. Despite this Bledsoe appears to start in that position over Lonzo. This has ultimately led to a drop in the assist production of Lonzo Ball. In 2019 Ball averaged 7 assists per game. Now he gets only 5.6 assists per game. However, despite Bledsoe taking most of the duties at point guard, he averages fewer assists than Ball at only 3.8 per game. Many times Bledsoe has tried to make spectacular passes and failed ultimately leading to turnovers. Which is one of the Pelican’s biggest problems. In fact, this season Eric Bledsoe is worse than Lonzo Ball ever was, despite playing 30 minutes a game.

However, Bledsoe was not brought over to improve the offense. Bledsoe was meant to be a strong defensive veteran, but he isn’t even doing that. Currently, Bledsoe is at an all-time career low when it comes to steals. The rookie point guard Kira Lewis Jr. from Alabama has the same number of steals per game, while only playing half the minutes. Lonzo Ball has twice the steals. Bledsoe was meant to be a stable defensive veteran guard, but right now he is third-best on the roster.

If Bledsoe is not getting a lot of steals, you would assume that he is solid just generally playing defense. But you would be wrong. Eric Bledsoe has been abhorrent on the perimeter. His failure to adequately guard the outside has led the Pelicans to allow the most 3s in the league. Even when he plays against non-3 point shooters, he constantly allows inside passes and cannot defend the rim well.

The New Orleans Pelicans brought in Eric Bledsoe to rejuvenate the defense and help the youth-filled Pelicans. However, he has done the opposite. He has taken opportunities away from Lonzo Ball and Kira Lewis while playing significantly worse defense. Eric Bledsoe is terrible, and he is holding the Pelicans back from wins.