Ben Margot/Associated Press
Steve Blake has always been able to get buckets.
After starting out the season with possibly the least amount of depth at the guard spot in the entire league, the Warriors turned it all around with a couple of shrewd trades and made the guard rotation a strength.
Jordan Crawford has brought some much-needed creativity to the bench unit, and Steve Blake brings clutch shooting and ball-handling ability to a Warriors team that desperately needed it.
Just ask Kobe Bryant how good of a player Blake is:
With the dynamic backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson already in place, the Warriors now have a glut of quality playmakers. The key now for head coach Mark Jackson will be figuring out how the pieces go together best. It won’t be as simple as Curry and Thompson starting and Blake and Crawford coming off the bench.
Any combination of the four can do some damage.
Playing Crawford with Curry for a few minutes is an especially tasty option as it would allow Curry to move to the off-guard spot and let Crawford initiate the offense. Crawford is excellent with the ball in his hands and his shot from outside must be respected.
Curry could use those minutes to conserve some much-needed energy while also benefiting from the space that Crawford would create. Crawford also has the size to defend bigger guards, so the defense would remain intact.
That combination of Blake and Thompson is also enticing, as it would give the Warriors a more conventional backcourt than that of Curry and Crawford. Blake has made a living of creating shots for himself and others, and that is of the utmost importance when playing with Thompson.
For all the positives that Thompson brings to the Warriors, he is still lacking in the ball-handling and creativity department. He relies on his point guard to nail open looks. Blake is more than capable of doing that.
Even more importantly, this is the best defensive rotation the Warriors can put in the backcourt. Thompson has made huge strides as a stopper, and Blake has always been a tenacious defender. These two would make it tough for any backcourt to score.
Obviously the Curry-Thompson combination will be the most used lineup, but the important thing is that Jackson has those other options. It’s up to him to use them wisely, especially because it will be vital for the next thing on the list.