Lakers point guard Steve Blake brings the ball upcourt during a game against… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)
Only 10 days after stepping on a parking lot spike with his bare left foot, Lakers guard Steve Blakepracticed on Thursday without limitations.
That left Lakers Coach Mike Brown gushing about Blake's rehabbing from a puncture wound in his left foot that the team initially expected would sideline him for at least three weeks.
"The kid's just tough as nails," Brown said. "I don't know if he'll ever get out of shape. He only knows one way to play, which is hard, and he's worked extremely hard on his game this summer. Watching him, you couldn't tell that this was his first practice. He was Steve Blake."
Blake is expected to play as Steve Nash's backup at point guard. Chris Duhon, whom the Lakers acquired from the Orlando Magic in the Dwight Howard deal, had played as the primary backup point guard during Blake's three-day absence during training camp. The Lakers also have second-year point guard Darius Morris under contract.
Although he conceded Blake has the edge because of his previous two seasons with the Lakers, Brown suggested Blake may compete for minutes with Duhon.
"We've just got to make sure we handle the process right, but obviously with Steve playing last year and having a feel for what we want accomplished, he might have a leg up on everybody," Brown said. "But, we'll see."
It seems pretty clear cut what the Lakers want from Blake after he averaged 5.2 points and 3.3 assists in 23.3 minutes a game last season.
"I need him to play hard and show some leadership," Brown said. "When he's open, knock down shots. When he feels like being aggressive, be aggressive and run the team. Just as important as that, though, he's going to have to defend. He will have to defend at a high level. That's what he does really well."
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