Steve Blake has had a rough tenure as a Laker. He's underperformed at nearly every turn and his numbers in his now two-plus seasons with the Lakers comprise the least productive stretch of his career.
Even worse, he missed some big, open shots in last year's playoffs, and playoff failure is not something Lakers fans are prone to forget.
All of this appears to be wearing on the maligned guard. As ESPN's Dave McMenamin reports, he was just fined by the league for "$25,000 for directing inappropriate language toward a fan."
As McMenamin shares, the incident occurred after a fan told Blake, "You need to knock down those open shots," and the guard replied. Blake made further comments to the fan after he fouled out of the game.
Blake had this to say for himself afterward:
It's an unfortunate misunderstanding and a heat-of-the-moment type of thing. It's one of those things I'm not proud of, the way I handled it, and I look forward to growing as a person and moving forward from it.
Well, there is a reason that Blake would say something he is not proud of. All of the frustration and failure has worn him down, and it is certainly understandable. He is coming off a season where he had his lowest shooting percentage from the field and beyond the arc in his career.
Blake has actually been shooting much better in this young season, but that is just a house of cards.
His rattled confidence can be found in his loss of control. This is only going to lead to him slumping once again, and it would be foolish to trust him in any big moments.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope he rediscovers his game, but I'm certainly not counting on it. The good news for the Lakers is that they aren't likely to need his shooting as much as they did a season ago.