I don’t believe in this ‘smaller line-up’ the Toronto Raptors have been using lately, starting two point guards, shifting DeMar DeRozan and James Johnson out of their natural positions. The Raps usually get out-matched by a team with size, and ultimately takes a toll on the players bodies.
However, I’m officially for Jerryd Bayless starting over Jose Calderon. At the start of the year, I wasn’t convinced that Bayless could play the point guard position, and would hurt the team, ultimately crippling the development of other starters due to his lack of playmaking skills. Bayless has started at shooting guard for 5 games this year, but has been on and off during those starts.
Jose Calderon is a bona-fide play maker, and is a viable option. However, it’s time for Jerryd Bayless to take over as the starting point guard in Toronto.
Bayless, 23 has had it tough during his NBA career. A lottery pick in the 2008 draft, he was projected to go as the second point guard behind Derrick Rose, but ahead of others such as Russell Westbrook.
He went 11th in that draft, to the Pacers, and was immediately traded to Portland. He never got a chance to start in Portland, and was traded to the Hornets where he played behind Chris Paul.
In the few career starts Bayless has had, he’s posted formidable numbers of 15.8 points, 4.8 assists, and and 2.7 rebounds with a mere 2.1 turnovers per game.
It’s evident that Bayless can put the ball in the basket, and Dwane Casey himself is aware of that. However, what’s held Bayless out of the starting line-up is because of his playmaking skills, or lack of.He’s out of control at times, and fails to create offense for others. This is why Bayless has been a journeyman throughout his career, and has been considered a combo guard.
So what’s different this time around? Bayless has shown things he’s never shown before. His lane penetration has always been fantastic, but his court vision is the huge difference here. He’s not just looking to score for himself, when he draws the defense he’s looking for the open man. This is something a Raptors point guard has failed to do since the days of TJ Ford.
Bayless still has ways to go as a point guard, but it’s time to give him that shot he’s never had, and see what he can make of it. Besides, what do the Raptors have to lose?
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