Sports Out West

Golden State Warriors’ missing ingredient: Steve Blake

Photo Credit:Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

The Golden State Warriors made a savvy and important move before the NBA trade deadline passed — they received another point guard.

The trade that sent Steve Blake from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Warriors was a necessary maneuver for a potential title run. Blake may not be the most important piece on the team, but his skill and specialty was a needed boost.

Before the deadline, and Blake, the Warriors were a good team in the crowded Western Conference. They proved to be as good as the top teams in the NBA, but lacked consistency. While the original weakness of defense (NBA’s third-ranked defense) was addressed, the dynamic offense of the Warriors lacked a bench presence. Unlike last season, with backup point guard Jarrett Jack assuming many of the ball-handling duties in the fourth quarter, this year’s squad was without one. Blake fits the bill.

Blake cannot create his own shot, he’s not a wizard with the ball, and he does not penetrate well. He’s slower than most point guards and won’t light up box scores. What he does provide is a steady ball-handler with low turnovers and great three-point precision — exactly what the Warriors needed.

The offensive efficiency of the team without Stephen Curry on the court is 90.9, as opposed to 108.8 when Curry plays. That 17.9 point difference is crucial to distinguish middle-of-the pack teams like the Warriors pre-deadline and the current team. Blake will assume some of the responsibilities once Curry sits and can play some crunch time minutes due to his great three-point prowess.

The Warriors understood that their need was a ball-handler and did not give up a player that would make the playoff roster (Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks). While both players are experiencing success in Los Angeles, the Warriors will enjoy their much-needed new second unit point guard.

 

Photo Credit:Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

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Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is a sports and video game journalist born and raised in Southern California. He is great at finding the important detail in the mundane and ordinary. He has published articles for Riot Games, IGN.com, 1UP.com, Rotowire.com, and SBNation.