Newly signed Portland Trail Blazer Steve Blake recently sat down for a chat with Mike and Mike to discuss his signing and transition to Portland.
Highlights included Blake discussing how he is more of a distributor than Mo Williams was, and how he tries to make a conscious decision to get others involved before looking for his own shot. This bodes well for a fledgling second unit that will be forced to make up for a large chunk of missing offense if Williams does not re-sign.
At the same time, Mike and Mike pointed out that Blake hit his share of clutch baskets and game winners while with the Lakers, which is something that often goes under the radar with Blake. If the time calls, and if it is the correct decision, he is not afraid to shoot at the end of a game. I always admired this about him, and think that this calculated confidence will be an excellent fit (and example) for the Blazers’ bench.
Blake also had several complimentary things to say about Damian Lillard, since, for the past couple years, he has been playing against Lillard rather than with him. Blake’s take is that Lillard is a player that cannot be allowed to “get going,” as well as one that must always be run off the three-point line. This is excellent to hear, as once opposing teams start keying in on Lillard even more (such as by running him off the three-point line), open shots should start materializing for the other Blazers on the court.
The final major note is that Blake pointed out that he knows he is getting older, and even though he doesn’t seem that old, this contract could envelope his final years in the league depending on how his body feels. As fans we often forget just how short the shelf life of professional athletes can be, so it is good to see that Blake is cognizant of where he is in terms of his career. He did mention that he would love to finish his career with the Blazers, which is excellent news from a team stability standpoint.
When the Blazers first signed Blake, I viewed it as a pretty run of the mill signing. I like Blake well enough, but after hearing him speak, I have grown more convinced that he will be a nice fit for the Blazers. He is a savvy, smart veteran who can hopefully help whip the bench into at least “acceptable” shape.