In theory it was a move that made a lot of sense. I even went as far as to say Steve Blake was born to play in the triangle offense. However after one lackluster year in Los Angeles the Blake signing is looking like more of a mistake than a stroke of genius.
He was supposed to be a knock down shooter but in the playoffs he produced like LeBron in the 4th. He was supposed to me a veteran leader contributing off the bench but in the end Blake’s most memorable offering was a case of chickenpox.
Some are now going as far as to say letting Jordan Farmar walk was a miscalculation. Farmar’s athleticism was sorely missed, no doubt about that. However his inconsistency was clearly a hindrance in the Lakers desires to give him a new contract. Thus Blake’s steady nature was supposed to be a welcome departure from the up and down nature of Farmar.
Well…that didn’t exactly prove to be the case.
Aside from a few clutch moments in the regular season, Blake did little to improve the bench. Most of the time he was too timid and seemed lost in trying to find ways to contribute. As a defender his performance was average at best in contrast to what he’s shown most of his career. On offense the Lakers got next to nothing from him.
I still believe Blake is a good fit for this team. The problem now is determining what his role will be under the new coaching regime.
There’s no reason to pull the plug after one year. Learning the triangle has proven a difficult challenge for some of the greatest to ever play. There’s no shame in struggling to grasp Phil’s version of Tex’s gift to the game. However there is something to be said for losing confidence.
It truly looked like Blake wasn’t playing withouy any confidence this past season. That is one area where you’d have to say Farmar never struggled. Jordan’s nature bordered on cockiness at times but you always felt he had supreme belief in his abilities no matter the scenario.
Under Mike Brown this teams stands to improve defensively. As we all know one of the biggest problems the Lake Show has had in recent years is defending opposing point guards. Blake’s offense may come and go but if he wants to make a valuable contribution it will be as a defender. In that case he could be perfect for Coach Brown.
Still, you can’t help but wonder if his jumper will ever come back. Blake was never known as a stellar shooter but you’d expect him to make more of the open looks he was constantly getting. By the end of the Dallas series Blake’s shot was as gone as common sense in Vancouver after losing the Cup. Hopefully he’ll make the most of a fresh start with Coach Brown. Otherwise, Blake could be gone before the All-Star break as GM Mitch will have no choice but to start making moves.