Welcome back, Blake!
It was nice following you on Twitter, seeing you in commercials and funny skits and on red carpets at award shows during the lockout. You were all over our televisions, so in one way it was like you never left, but it’s your basketball skills that we enjoy watching the most, so we couldn’t be more excited to see you back on the court soon.
You and the guys made it look, at times, like you could play with the best teams in the league last season, and all that did was build anticipation for what could come next. The time off has only given us more time to wonder what we will see from you this year.
We want to see if you are going to be even better. You made tremendous improvements to your game over the course of last season, has the jumpshot improved since then? Exhibition games don’t present the type of competitive environment geared to working on defense — and we didn’t even see you in any of those — is that going to become a strength of your game, now or ever?
We have talked a lot about your buddy, DeAndre. We’ll find out soon how Neil Olshey elects to construct the roster around you, but we are pretty sure the restricted free agency of his 23-year old center the top priority. He believes that you guys are ready to make a run and we agree that signing DeAndre at any cost is therefore a must. Are we right? Will the two of you be able to “take the next step” and anchor a cohesive defensive unit capable of carrying the team when shots aren’t falling or injuries hit?
The pre-season could be crazy, with training camp starting at the same time as free agency. Once the season starts, games will pop up at an alarming rate, dishing out the kind of physical and emotional punishment that we can only imagine would be very taxing, especially for you, with your style and the way teams defend you. Are you up to the challenge of leading the way, even when the young(er) guys make mistakes and when the vets fail to make the play or struggle with their roles on the team?
Can you lead the team to the playoffs?
We can’t wait to see, because you have given us every reason to believe that it’s possible. It’s just great to have you back.