Lakers head coach Mike Brown
says Steve Blake has the edge becoming the backup because he’s played with the Lakers the past two seasons, while Chris Duhon just arrived from Orlando this off-season as part of the Dwight Howard trade.
While Blake does have experience playing with the Lakers, Brown wants to see what each will show in training camp, including eight preseason games, which will determine how many minutes they will play once the season starts.
Blake helped the team in the playoffs
, coming up with clutch shooting by hitting critical three-pointers in the first-round playoff series against the Denver Nuggets. Brown was gratified that Blake played more aggressively this off-season. Even though Blake’s averaged only 4.6 points on 36.7% shooting in two seasons with the Lakers, they’ve liked how he’s kept the offense organized.
Duhon averaged 3.8 points and 2.4 assists in 19.5 minutes a game in his ninth year last season with the Orlando Magic. Even though Duhon shot 42% last season from three-point range, he was less effective from 3 to 9 feet (23%) and 16 to 23 feet (38%). With a high turnover rate (27.6%) and low assist ratio (19%), Duhon also struggled last season in running the Magic offense.
Still, Duhon has proven a superior defender than both Blake and Nash.
While both bring their own abilities to the Lakers, what will ultimately decide who backs up Nash in Los Angeles is who is the best fit into Brown’s defensive-oriented system, and in this case, based on playing under Brown in 2011-12, Blake has the edge over Duhon in this case.