Bayless Project in Portland

by Zack Cimini

Before rushing your leagues fantasy nba waiver wire in the quest of grabbing the latest flourishing role player in Jerryd Bayless lets analyze the role the Blazers will put him in. The Blazers were able to use the spark Bayless was able to provide on Thursday versus the Suns to mount a fourth quarter comeback after trailing by double digit’s the entire game. So the Suns were not able to snap a horrid losing streak on televised games on TNT building that to 17 losses. For his heroics Bayless was credited and figures to warrant more playing time in the Blazers crowded back court.

We do think Bayless is going to be a talent for years to come but his attributes what he can do offensively were perfect for last nights game. Bayless is not a true point guard as evident every time he handled the basketball. He is a slasher and score first approach guard. He did have four assists with his 29 points but those were on kick out three point shots. By handling the basketball he needs to be able to run the offense with more control. If it weren’t for the Suns inability to guard his speed, Bayless could have been shut down and frustrated with ease.

Steve Nash does not have the foot speed anymore and with Leandro Barbosa sidelined the Suns did not have a suitable defender to match Bayless. Instead they had to rely on forward Jared Dudley to try and slow down Bayless. Translation? There wasn’t a defender that had a chance to slow down Bayless. The Suns maybe should have thought about switching to a zone to cut Bayless’s driving abilities down.

Going forward the Blazers will have some time to play around and see what Bayless can provide. Rudy Fernandez’s time table for return is still up in the air. Based on Bayless’s attributes they might need to shift him over and let him play the two guard position. That’s what the University of Arizona did with Bayless in his one year with the program. They let true point guard Nic Wise run the show. Bayless has the size and athletic ability to be a factor while on the court.

All were saying is as a floor leader he does not have the team first mentality to carry this team forward. This could be a good thing for Portland as they do have two true point guards in Steve Blake and Andre Miller. Without a dominating post presence the Blazers have been searching for someone to provide a spark offensively. They have not been getting consistent offensive production from anyone else besides Roy and Lamarcus Aldridge.

We will see what plans Nate McMillan will have for Bayless. If he puts him in the spot as point guard he can flourish on nights against teams that don’t play defense such as the Suns and Golden State Warriors. He has the ability to put up marquee numbers on any night. Running the show as a floor leader just is not his role. Watch the Blazers move him to the two guard spot and remove Martell Webster from the starting lineup and back to being a role player. Webster has been far too inconsistent as a starter offensively.