Exit-Evaluations: Steve Blake

It was supposed to be a match made in heaven. Steve Blake looked like the perfect guard for the triangle offense. A smart, unselfish player who was a dead eye shooter when launching off the catch. Unfortunately, things never quite worked out the way everyone had hoped.

Regular Season Grade: C

Blake actually begin his Lakers career quite auspiciously, hitting the game winning 3 pointer opening night against Houston. Over the next month Blake displayed many of qualities that the Lakers had eyed when they signed him, highlighted by his willingness to pass, solid defense and proficient shooting (nearly 47% from 3 over his first 21 games).

But as the season wore on inconsistency, especially in terms of shooting the ball, would cast an ugly shadow over Blake’s game. November would be Steve’s best month and while his 38% shooting from 3 for the year was respectable, it came with too many dry spells.

It got to a point where it seemed like Blake was being unselfish to a fault, turning down open shots, despite widespread encouragement from his teammates. Ultimately, between the inconsistency and his backup role, it turned out to be one of Blake’s least efficient seasons as a pro, totaling averages of just 4 points and 2 assists in 20 minutes of play per game.

When he contracted the chicken pox and missed the end of the regular season, it was merely an exclamation mark on a disappointing year.

Playoff Grade: D

If the regular season was a disappointment for Steve, the playoffs were a flop.

After coming back from the Chicken Pox in the Hornets series, Steve never really made an impact.

In fact his most memorable moment was probably the collective groans he started inducing after missing wide open three after three in game 2 of the Mavericks series.

Overall Grade: C-

Blake came into the Lakers to fill a specific role as backup point and initiator in the triangle. For part of the season he was able to fill that role adequately but inconsistency in his performance were ultimately a let down for Lakers’ fans.

With the coaching situation in flux, it’s unclear what role Steve might have in the offense for next season, but regardless it’s likely he’ll be here. With three years left on a contract that pays him 16 million dollars, its unlikely he’ll be moved unless it’s as a part of a bigger package.

Lakers fans hope he can bounce back and provide a more consistent presence, regardless of what his role on the team is for next year.

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