7.3 PTS, 3.8 AST, 2.9 REB, .422 FG%, .421 3P%, 45 GP, 13 GS
Like seemingly every other player on this season’s Lakers’ squad, Steve Blake was hit with the injury bug early on. An abdominal strain that required surgery forced Blake to miss nearly half the season, When he did play though, he was productive; averaging 7 PPG, 4 AST, and a career-high 3 RPG in 45 games played.
Blake was most productive providing back-up minutes to the Lakers starting back-court of Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant. In addition, he was also a threat from 3-point range, where he did most of his damage, shooting nearly 50%. Blake saw his minutes increase throughout the season, especially with Nash nursing a variety of injuries, and often started in the back-court with Bryant, serving as a sharp-shooter while Bryant played facilitator.
Blake moved into a starting role when Bryant suffered an Achilles injury late in the season, but his own season was cut short when he suffered a hamstring injury in game 2 of the first round of the playoffs that ruled him out for the remainder of the post-season (story of the Lakers season; when one player returned from injury, another got hurt).
Next season expect to see more of the same from Blake. I think he could very well post a new career-high in PPG as his minutes increase due to more trust from MDA, and providing more back up to the aging Nash, and the recovering Bryant. What helps Blake is his ability to play both guard positions, which he demonstrated throughout the season when he was healthy.
QUESTION: What role do YOU think Blake will fill next season?
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