The Milwaukee Bucks enter the NBA’s Orlando bubble with the league’s best record at 53-12 and, prior to the extended hiatus, Giannis Antetokounmpo and company were widely seen as a significant favorite to reach the 2020 NBA Finals. In addition, the Bucks seemingly have a breezy path to at least the second round of the playoffs, giving the team the opportunity to ramp up slowly through the seeding games and a first round match-up against an inferior opponent.
With that as the backdrop, word broke from Chris Haynes of TNT and Yahoo Sports on Thursday that starting point guard Eric Bledsoe is not yet in Orlando due to a positive COVID-19 test, with Malika Andrews of ESPN also offering a quote from Bledsoe shortly after.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 17, 2020
Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe, who is not in Orlando with the Bucks, tells ESPN: “I tested positive for COVID-19.
I am asymptomatic and feeling fine.
Once I meet the NBA protocols, I look forward to joining my teammates in Orlando.”
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) July 17, 2020
Haynes notes that he spoke to Bledsoe, who informed him that he is not feeling symptoms and that he “feels good” at this time. While any speculation on the exact time of his arrival and his overall status is extremely difficult, Bledsoe must clear quarantine protocol and have two consecutive negative tests before he is able to head to join the Bucks on the Walt Disney World campus — where another quarantine would have to be cleared before he could begin practicing.
The Bucks worked to improve their backcourt depth this offseason, but Bledsoe remains a critical piece of their lineup and a major x-factor for how good they can be come playoff time. If Bledsoe is unavailable at the outset of their on-court journey in Orlando, Milwaukee would presumably turn to George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo for increased minutes in the backcourt. The Bucks are scheduled to play their first seeding game on July 31 against the Boston Celtics.