The Lakers had four point guards heading into training camp: Steve Nash, Steve Blake, Chris Duhon and Darius Morris. Everyone knew that Nash had the starting position locked up, but the back-up point position was up for grabs.
Head coach Mike Brown said yesterday that Blake won the battle – at least for now – according to Mark Medina:
“He had a little bit of an advantage because he was in the system last year,” Brown said of Blake, who averaged 3.6 points on 40 percent shooting in 14.6 minutes through seven game. “It’s not set in stone, but we felt he played a little bit better as of late.”
“My backup point guard first needs to defend, second get the team organized and third not turn the ball over,” Brown said. “If he can score and/or shoot, that’s a bonus.”
Blake was impressive during preseason play, shooting 45.5% from three-point range – his shot has been on as of late; he owned the Lakers’ training camp record in threes made with 22 until Nash broke it yesterday with 23 – and his blue collar game has always been admired by Brown.
Duhon saw this decision coming though. Here’s what he said a few days ago to Medina:
“I pretty much think he made his choice already,” Duhon said because of the playing-time discrepancy. “I’m OK with that. I’m going to continue to do what I do and stay ready.”
For me, Duhon was impressive during his limited minutes in the preseason. He showed a willingness to play defense – taking a number of charges – and also showed off his playmaking ability.
He seemed to be moving the best he has in quite a few years, and that’s no surprise when you look at the work he put in this summer.
Duhon worked out at Peak Performance Project in Santa Barbara over the off-season. He dropped weight, increased his vertical and said he felt the best he has in years. You can check out one of the videos of him working out below – check out the entire series of videos here.
Steve Blake will start out the season with the back-up point guard position it seems, but Chris Duhon will be waiting in the wings if Mike Brown decides to go in a different direction at any given time.