NBA Experience: 8 years
Contract Status: Signed thru 2013-14
2010-11 Averages: 4.0ppg, 2.1apg, .5spg, 35% FG, 37% 3PT, 86% FT
Steve Blake was supposed to be the steady vet that was going to lead the charge off the pine and potentially push Derek Fisher for starter’s minutes. Instead Blake’s biggest contribution to the locker room was a potential chicken pox outbreak. After it was all said and done his first year in Purple and Gold was a bust.
His numbers were about as impressive as his game during the 2010-11 season. Beyond the stats Blake was gun-shy, failing to be the knockdown shooter the Lakers envisioned when he inked a $16-million deal last off-season. During the regular season Blake was very hit or miss but during the playoffs he bottomed out. Blake had no confidence in his shot at all and either passed up open looks or bricked worse than Shaq shooting 40-footers. To say the least Blake was dismal against Dallas. Then again, so was every other Laker.
Perhaps he never truly felt comfortable in his role. I went as far as to say Blake was born to play in the triangle but that now seems a stretch. Maybe Blake will have more success with Mike Brown in town but that remains to be seen.
In the immediate future the Lakers need help at the point guard spot. Blake is known as a steady defender but he’s not up for the task of chasing the Chris Pauls and Derrick Roses of the NBA. Not that there is anybody on the planet capable of slowing the roll of the NBA’s elite guards. Still, you’d expect the Lakers to find a better option to plug in at point going forward. But that could be a somewhat distant future prospect.
With three more years left on his deal Blake is here for the long haul. Unless the Lakers toss him into a trade in order to match salaries Blake will remain in Los Angeles. Therefore it’s going to be up to Coach Brown to figure out some way to get the best of Blake. He is still a very capable player who can contribute in very meaningful ways to any championship contender. Hopefully we’ll see that come to fruition next season.