Blake is a superior player to last year though, can't neglect that. Shooting alone makes him a better player, but shooting and an improved face-up game helps him a lot. Shouldn't even say improved, he didn't really have a face-up game. I said it all last year over and over that for a player like him who is more of an athletic, slightly undersized type guy, and not a Shaq type player, it is the face-up game and shooting that is more important in next level offense than the post up back to the basket type game everyone is always worried about.
Blake was an All-Star, but not a high level or superstar range guy with impact and production last season, and I don't mean because of the reduced minutes a reduces raw stats. He was still essentially a 20/9/4 guy if he wasn't playing just 32 minutes or whatever Vinny game him, but that alone isn't enough to be a high impact guy unless you are also a defensive anchor. This year he's taken his offensive game to another lever, and that adds an extra element to the team.
In terms of what else is also different from last year, I agree:
Doc which also means the offensive system which gives a fall back, and the defensive system which shouldn't make this team look like last years Charlotte Bobcats on defense.
Jordan being a more confident player, which means this year we should actually get playoff production from him
Redick giving the offense that extra element of motion.
On thing I'd like to see is the offense if the starters with both Barnes and Redick. Barnes' confidence and play is back up and Redick's motion combined with Barnes' corner 3PT shooting and willingness to make hard off ball cuts can really help to alleviate stagnation in the offense. We haven't really seen those things together this season.