PHOENIX — Guard Eric Bledsoe will return to the court in one of the three games following the Phoenix Suns’ Thursday night meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder, reports the Arizona Republic’s Paul Coro, and coach Jeff Hornacek says it will be a touchy time in getting the dynamic guard back into the rotation.
“You have to get him in at some point,” Hornacek said. “We have to somehow figure out how to get him into that without screwing up our rotation.”
It’s easy to find an example of a talented player’s return rocking the boat. Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook made a start six games ago after missing 27 games because of knee injury, and Oklahoma City dropped that game against the Miami Heat, and the next two against the Los Angeles Clippers and Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I think a lot of people thought we would have trouble adapting with Russell,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “That wasn’t a problem at all. We weren’t playing defense. To add one of the elite players in the league is going to help us.”
Hornacek would probably nod if he heard that assessment of a situation so similar to his own. Still, there’s going to be concern that the Suns will take a few games to get back into their groove. Oklahoma City has done just that, having won three straight heading into the game at U.S. Airways Center. Phoenix is in a much more tight situation — a few painful losses could take them out of the playoffs.
But better for Phoenix get it over with now, so long as Bledsoe’s knee is healthy.
“It takes a couple of games to get back to being used to the rotations and who you’re out there playing with,” Hornacek said. “That’s hard. We can’t afford that at that point when he does come back, so hopefully it’s seamless and guys jump right back into it.”