Sports Out West

Lakers: Steve Blake producing in the absence of Steve Nash

Photo Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Since Steve Nash was sidelined last week with nerve root damage in his back, Steve Blake has quietly been an effective starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Blake over the last seven games starting with the 99-98 road win over the Houston Rockets has averaged 12.0 points and 9.3 assists in 33.9 minutes per game and this stretch includes recording at least 10 assists in the last four consecutive games.  The 10-year veteran has produced beyond any expectati0ns as the team’s starting point guard.

“I think he has played great since he came back last year from his injury,” Mike D’Antoni said after the Lakers 114-99 win over the Detroit Pistons. “A lot of it’s just confidence, especially for a point guard, and knowing that you’re going to be out, knowing the ball is in your hands, knowing that you’re running the team, and knowing where guys are spotted up. He just keeps getting better.”

Blake has played in an important role for the Lakers this season with Nash out and Kobe Bryant still rehabbing his surgically-repaired left Achilles tendon. He had to step into the role as the orchestrator of the offense when he is on the floor, and he has responded by bringing stability to the point guard position.

The 33-year-old this season has been the head of the snake to this scrappy Lakers’ team with his aggressive play on the both ends of the court that has evidently become contagious to his teammates.

“I don’t know his attitude, he’s hungry out there,” Nick Young said. “You have no choice to play with him and keep up with him.”

Although Nash is out least another week and it appears it may be longer, Blake will likely hold the position as the team’s starting point guard due to his high level of play and experience in D’Antoni’s system. ultimately, what Blake has brought to the Lakers is solidarity to the point guard position, and with his production it will help ride the ship until Nash and Bryant return.

Blake has always played an important role on this team and right now it just happens to be showing more than ever before.

Photo Credit: Photo Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

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Bob Garcia IV

Bob Garcia is a sports journalist from Southern California. He was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarcia90.

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