Mike Brown has named his starting point guard for the “foreseeable future” and it will be Steve Blake. From Dave McMenamin at ESPN Los Angeles:
“I don’t want to guarantee anything or put anything in stone because I don’t know if it’s healthy to do that all the time,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said following the team’s film session and light voluntary practice on Saturday. “It’s definitely Steve’s job for the foreseeable future and it might be his job for the rest of the year. I don’t know.”
More from the head coach:
“The tough part about it, and everybody is going through it, is I don’t know if we can have any more contact practices,” Brown said. “You’d like to be able to have some contact practices so you can coach in that situation, but the reality of it is I don’t know if we’ll be able to afford to do that with the way our schedule is.”
Surely there will be rumblings about Sessions not starting from a fanbase that has pined for an upgrade at PG for what seems like years. However, Brown’s reasoning is sound in this case and a bit of patience is needed.
Sessions will play plenty of minutes (he played 19 in a game where he’d learned plays from an email exchange with the coaches the night before), so whether he starts or not really isn’t relevant. In fact, whether he finishes games – at least right away – isn’t relevant either.
What does matter is getting Sessions on the same page as all his teammates, a point he made himself in post game interviews. Sessions is a point guard in the truest sense of the word. He wants to be able to have command over the Lakers sets, know the strengths of his teammates, and learn how to maximize the effectiveness of himself and his teammates within the schemes he’s asked to run. This, of course, takes time.
Asking him to come in and start right away wouldn’t be putting him in the best position to succeed, even if he could still provide good play in the process. Allowing him to learn as he goes and do the things that he does best when he comes into the game – push the ball and run P&R’s – actually fits best into a reserve role right now. Over time that will likely change, but give it some time.
Right now, though, it’s good to simply have him on board. In Friday’s win against the T’Wolves he had an obvious impact with his speed and ability to get into the lane. He collapsed the defense and created spot up chances for his teammates while making all of his baskets in the paint. The Lakers haven’t had a PG that could make those claims with any consistency for a long time. Whether he starts or not, I’m just thankful we’ll be able to say this about the Lakers game after game moving forward.