Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Blazers Sign Steve Blake

The Blazers signed restricted free agent Steve Blake to a contract yesterday, inking their second Washington Wizard. Blake is a "crafty" guard who is a mediocre shooter but knows how to run an offense and is a heady player.

At least, that's his reputation. If you look at his numbers last year (he sprained an ankle and only played in 44 games), he averaged about 15 minutes per game and put up 4.3 points, 2.6 assists, and 1.6 rebounds while shooting 37%. I suppose that I'm okay with this move, because fundamentally you can't count on a 2nd-year man and a rookie to give you 48 minutes of point guard play for an entire season, so you can make the argument that Portland needed another point guard. However, this tells me a couple of things about Portland:

1. They don't have much confidence in Jarret Jack. Fair enough, the kid's a rookie. Still, a bizarre draft pick.
2. They view Juan Dixon as a 2-guard. Between Telfair, Dixon, and Jack, Portland would have been fine at point guard. Between Telfair and Jack, probably not. Hence you can see that Portland isn't envisioning getting a whole lot of minutes out of Dixon at the point, likely due to his need to play shooting guard. I think Webster's showing in summer league (where he frequently looked lost on the court) may have contributed to this.
3. He's an insurance policy for Telfair.
4. All of this is probably moot, because Washington will likely match the contract.

John Nash's comment read "Nate wanted a perimeter threat at the point guard position". One thing we do know about Blake is that he can hit a three. Last season he shot 39% from 3-point. The key is not letting him take any other shots (33% from the field overall, which means when you take out his three pointers -- which were exactly half of his shots -- he put up 27% on non-three-point shots). So if you're looking for a guy to come off the bench, play a little point, and shoot a few threes, fine. If you're looking for anything more than that, you're out of luck.

My apologies for the lack of posts lately ... went on vacation, started a new job, and took a business trip. We'll be back on a regular schedule in October.

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