Well. I was on a break. Until I saw a certain stat line this morning and couldn’t resist. Last night Steve Blake got a 22 and 10 in a victory for the Portland Jail Weed Trailblazers. And if that’s not enough, add four steals and four rebounds in there. That’s a downright Chrispaulian effort…I’m not comparing the two, but hey, it’s a sick game no matter who you are.
Blake goes by many nicknames. Eminem. Gummo. Timothy McVeigh. No matter what you call him, though, Blake is looking pretty daggone strong right now for the 17-10 Blazers. He’s averaging 11.2 points and 4.5 dimes this season as the team’s starting point guard. A couple weeks ago he hit a game-winner, and overall has developed a serious three-point stroke (he’s shooting 42%).
Who would have thought that Steve Blake would become a legit NBA player? I always liked his game as much as anybody, but he seemed destined for backup status. It’s kind of like having a baby, and suddenly realizing that the baby is now running around and building sand castles and such. Slowly but surely, Blake just keeps developing. And he takes it incredibly seriously. Coach Nate McMillan said he’s a team leader and one of its most competitive guys. Blake quit drinking earlier this year, and spent the summer training with UFC fighter Nate Quarry. That can’t be an easy workout.
I always wonder what Eric Hayes thinks about Blake. I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a broadcaster compare Hayes to Blake, based on little more than physical appearance and perhaps general demeanor. They’re not basing it on ability, that’s for sure. And I’m sure Hayes realizes that every time he, you know, doesn’t play as well as Blake did. Nothing against Hayes at all…I just think the comparison is a little unfair and inaccurate, no matter how much us fans might wish it to be true.
It will be interesting to see what happens in Portland as rookie guard phenom Rudy Fernandez continues to develop (remember, Brandon Roy has the two spot on lock). But for now, Steve Blake is looking very comfortable — surprisingly comfortable — in this prominent role. Goterps.