NBA Experience: 9 Years
Contract Status: Signed thru 2013-14
2011-12 Averages: 5.2 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 3.2 apg, 23.3 mpg, 37% FG, 77% FT, 33% 3PT
It has been an awkward two years in purple and gold for Steve Blake. He arrived with much fanfare and was thought to be the eventual successor to Derek Fisher. That clearly isn’t the case as evident by the trade of Fisher and the acquisition of Ramon Sessions. None the less it was Blake’s veteran leadership and steady play that Mike Brown leaned on during crunch time in the playoffs.
Brown’s faith in Blake might have been more a result of his lack of trust in playoff newbie Sessions. Like his two-year Laker career Blake’s 2012 playoff ride was an up and down rollercoaster.
We saw the Blake we were all expecting in a stunning display during L.A.’s Game 7 victory over Denver in the first round. Then we saw the Blake we’ve come to expect when he bricked an open look late in a crucial game against Oklahoma City in the second round.
Such has been the case with Stevie Ball Game ever since he signed his four-year deal with the Lake Show.
He mostly was given the benefit of the doubt his first season as it was a clear culture shock for Blake to play in the triangle offense. He’s been a pure point guard his whole life so being asked to play as a spot-up shooter proved difficult. This past season however all bets were off as Brown utilized Blake in a more natural role.
The results were pretty much the same.
Now nobody ever expected Blake to blossom into a franchise guard as a Laker. Being able to efficiently run the offense, hit open jumpers and play some intense D was about the team expected when he made the move from one locker room is Staples to the other. We’ve seen him do all of that but almost never on the same night and rarely does any of that occur on a consistent basis.
Blake is a solid pro that has gotten the most out of his talents. But it’s painfully obvious that he’s only as valuable as the system he plays in and the players around him. With two-years and another $8-million still remaining on his deal it would appear the Lakers and Blake are in business together for at least another year. Again, I’m willing to give Blake the benefit of the doubt as he and the entire team had to learn Coach Brown’s system on the fly. The truth is that at this point Blake could get very comfortable at the end of the bench if the Lakers go out and get another point guard to add to the mix.