Saturday, July 3, 2010

Steve Blake will be a good back up to D-Fish? WHAT!? START THIS GUY!

Ever since I saw Steve Blake play for the Clippers live, I've been so high on him. I argued that he ran a better offense than Baron Davis. Twice. I wanted the Clippers to trade Baron Davis for a good post player and hand over the reigns to Steve Blake. He's a great personality. Works hard even for the lottery bound Clippers, even as a back up PG. Yes it was a contract year, but Steve Blake has always been known as a good character guy and good professional.
Gut reactions to the signing:

He's a pass first guy and that will work well in the Laker offense:
  • Fact. He is a pass first, almost to a fault. He barely looks at the basket and is always looking around to find open men. But he's so much more than that. He's a GOOD passer. If it wasn't for Kobe and Shannon Brown's hectic ability to grab errant lobs, a lot of those high low passes from Pau at the free throw line and Luke Walton from the 3 point line would have sailed out of bounds. Steve Blake throws a GREAT lob pass, in transition and in half court sets. Granted Shannon will probably leave for more money, Andrew Bynum is a good target to pass to on the lob.
  • Steve Blake is a great pick and roll passer. And with his ability to knock down a jump shot, if teams cheat and go under the screen set most likely from Pau Gasol or Andrew Bynum, he'll make you pay for it. Granted most all pick and roll situations come from Kobe Bryant, this will probably rarely happen. But if Blake plays with the 2nd string players, depending on who else they sign, it adds more to the Laker offense arsenal.
  • To sum it up, he makes the right pass, but in addition, that right pass is a GOOD pass in the receiver's comfort zone, making him able to finish the play correctly.
He's a good shooter.
  • Fact. Albeit he's more of a spot up shooter. He can create his own shot but mainly off of screens but he's a good catch and shoot shooter, from 3 point line and midrange.
He's a good defender.
  • Depends who you ask. He's a pesky defender but if an oversized point guard posts him up, he'll need help. He's got a small frame at 6'3 172 lbs (compared to Fisher 6'1 210 lbs). But he does have the ability to keep his man in front of him.
  • However, he is a smart defender. He knows how to rotate on defense and isn't afraid (on the Clippers at least) to tell people quickly where they need to be on defense while the ball is in play. If he plays with Lamar, I have a feeling the other 3 guys on the floor at the time will always know where they're supposed to be as Lamar takes a lot of pride in team defense as well.
He's got a high basketball IQ.
  • Fact. Refer to what I said about his passing.
  • But also, he knows basketball situations. He knows how to use his fouls, knows how to foul to stop a fast break. Knows where his teammates are going to be and knows how to play basketball the right way.
  • The way I see it, he's a poor man's Chauncey Billups playing for Larry Brown on the Pistons. Except he's playing for the rich Lakers and still took a pay cut due to their payroll to the Laker core.
Final argument. Look, Fisher did great this playoffs. He was the MVP of game 3 in the Finals. But you cannot, YOU ABSOLUTELY CANNOT, ignore the 82 game season. Fisher was a liability on defense and shot poorly compared to his last couple of years (38% FG, 34% 3pt). The argument for Fisher is that he's clutch. Ok, yeah, he's clutch. But do you need a clutch player who hits big shots for 82 games of the season when you have so many other weapons and are probably going to/should be winning games with a comfortable lead with the players the Lakers have? No.

However, during the playoffs, you will need clutch performers and Fisher is exactly that, which is why the Lakers should still keep him. He needs to be relegated to the bench so that he can save his legs for the playoffs. He needs to do what is best for the team as Lamar did in 2008 and was benched for yes, Vladamir Radmanovic. Later that season, Lamar was still benched in favor of yes, Luke Walton. Luke Walton later told Jackson he should be starting Trevor Ariza. Lamar did what his team asked him to do and it ended up in a championship. Fisher needs to do what Ron Artest did for the Lakers this season, took a pay cut to chase a ring and took a lesser role as not the number 1 option on offense but still performed. He did what his team asked him to do and it ended up in a championship.

As a Laker fan, and a Steve Blake fan, I'm so happy right now. I just feel that if they do sign Fisher and he starts, somewhere in the middle of the season, there will be talks of who should be starting at point guard. Why can't we just sidestep all of that and start Steve Blake at the end and have Fisher be the hero during the playoffs?

Regardless of what happens, here's to you, Steve Blake. I hope you get a championship ring and thank you taking less money.



Agreed that Fisher had a pretty lousy regular season. But he was one of the main reasons they won the title. Will you say Blake was a good signing if they lose Fisher? I'd consider it a huge blunder.

ReadBetweenTheBaselines said...

If they lose Fisher, it'll be a huge blunder with or without the Blake signing. In the playoffs, Fisher is just as ice cold as any other closer and it's very important that the Lakers keep him for the playoffs. However, they did need to address their PG problem and they did so.

I don't know what's gonna happen with Fisher tho, he wants big money and the Lakers don't want to spend it. I could honestly argue both sides. If you start him, you could argue he gets the big money, but if he's a back up PG, I'd give him the lesser.