Role Play: Four Lakers Are Thriving In Their New-Found Roles

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Los Angeles LakersThroughout all of the lineup changes and rotation dilemmas this season, four Lakers have established roles for themselves and thrived in them.

Certainly, there have been solid performances by some, and inconsistent performances by others on a night-to-night basis, but Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, and Jordan Hill have discovered their respective roles and developed a consistency in them.

Each has a unique skill-set and on-court personality, which has equated to success in their respective roles.

Let’s take a look:

Steve Blake (The Blake Mamba): Quietly confident and deadly.

Objective: Run the show and knock downs threes.

  • Points: 9.8
  • Assists: 7.3
  • eFG%: 52.4
  • 3FG%: 46.4
  • Minutes: 31.9

In six games as a starter alongside Steve Nash (at the shooting guard position), Steve Blake has averaged 9.5 points and 4.7 assists with an eFG% of 59.4 percent.

In six games starting as the point guard in Steve Nash’s absence, Blake has averaged 11.0 points and 9.8 assists with an eFG% of 46.4 percent.

As you can see, Blake has been successful in both roles, and has been a steadying force for the Lakers — even knocking down a game-winning shot against Houston earlier this month.

He’s truly become a leader on this Lakers team and is arguably the heart and soul of the squad in Kobe Bryant’s absence. He’s kept the show running — a la Steve Nash — while also maintaining a competitive edge and fearlessness that’s similar to Bryant’s.

Additionally, Blake isn’t just playing well for a backup point guard, but producing at an extremely efficient rate for any point guard in the league. For edification, Blake is currently eighth in the league in assists, and among the league leaders in three-point percentage as well.

Also shooting lights out from three is Jodie Meeks, who’s up next.

Jodie Meeks (M33k$):  Stealth sniper with his finger always on the trigger.

Objective: Score at a high percentage, both inside and out.

  • Points: 13.7
  • eFG%: 66.7
  • 3FG%: 49.2
  • Minutes: 27.5

Jodie Meeks is currently the Lakers’ leading scorer and has been a pleasant surprise for Lakers fans this season. Last season, Meeks wasn’t very consistent offensively and was often a disaster waiting to happen on the fast break.

This season, however, Meeks has turned out to be the most consistent scorer for the Lakers and is knocking down shots at a clip we had all hoped for last season. He’s currently shooting 48.6 percent from 20-24 feet (which is where he takes the majority of his shots) and  even converting on 74.1 percent of his attempts at the rim (which is where he takes the second-most number of his shots). Additionally, he’s shooting an incredible 50.0 percent from 25-29 feet — which is where he takes the third-most number of shots. Like Blake, Meeks is also among the league leaders in three-point percentage at 49.2.

“Mid-range” is not in Meeks’ vocabulary, but it doesn’t seem to be necessary at this point as he’s been delivering in various other ways for the Lakers this season.

Another Laker who is putting up numbers for the Lakers is Nick Young. Let’s take a look.

Next Page:  Swaggy P and the Garbage Man

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