Steve Blake’s return jumpstarting Lakers bench

Back when he sounded nostalgic over his new gig, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni openly envisioned Steve Blake’s playmaking and aggressiveness providing the perfect fit for his fast-paced system.

But the Lakers had to wait.

Blake missed 37 games because of a lower abdominal strain that required surgery and an unexpected groin injury. But 15 games since his return, the Lakers unanimously have gushed how Blake’s played a large part in jumpstarting the team’s bench.

“I’m in a good place,” said Blake. “I’m starting to see the floor better and understand where guys like to go on the pick and roll and know where the spacing is. As a group when I’m out there, I’m starting to feel comfortable.”

Blake has averaged 5.3 points, 3.8 assists and a 41.1 percent mark from 3-point range per game, his highest output in three seasons with the Lakers. Is this Blake’s best season wearing purple and gold?

“I believe so,” Blake said. “I feel really good out there. My teammates make me feel that way and coach does too. I’m excited with the way things are going right now.”

Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@dailynews.com

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