Nothing too exciting to report from today's games at the practice facility. Guys either had off days or are headed out of town for long weekends, so the numbers were pretty sparse. In fact, there were so few players that Mike Born, the Director of NBA Scouting, had to lace 'em up just so they could play 4-on-4. Born played college ball at Iowa State, so he's not exactly a scrub, but even he would admit that his best days on the court are well behind him.
I did have a couple of minutes to catch up with Jerryd Bayless after today's run. Here's a bit of what he had to say
Center Court: What have you been up to since the end of summer league?
Bayless: I’ve been working out; getting ready for the season. Just trying to get ready for this long haul.
Center Court: Where have you been working out?
Bayless: Here in Portland and in Phoenix. I’ve been in Phoenix most of the time. I just got out here a couple weeks ago, getting started out here.
Center Court: Working out with anyone else?
Bayless: No, just by myself.
Center Court: Trying to work on anything in particular?
Bayless: All around. Just trying to keep up with everything. Trying to get better and get ready for the season.
Center Court: Now that you’ve had a chance to play against both Steve Blake and Sergio Rodriguez, how do you feel about your chances of starting at point guard?
Bayless: They’re both good, but I think my chances are still as good as anyone else. Obviously I need to keep getting better but I think the opportunity is there and if I take advantage of it, I can do it.
Center Court: Who’s the hardest guy to guard out here?
Bayless: Salim (Stoudamire) is the hardest guy to guard because he can pretty much score from anywhere on the court. I think he’s the hardest one to guard.
Center Court: What about you?
Bayless: You mean, am I hard to guard?
Center Court: Yeah, in your opinion.
Bayless: Yeah, I think I’m pretty good! I think I’m kind of hard to guard, but I don’t know. I think I’m doing well in these runs, so …
Center Court: You seem to be driving less and shooting from outside more than you did during summer league. Are you trying to take it easy out there?
Bayless: I’m not taking it easy; I’m just shooting more. I’ve been shooting the ball really well, so I’m just trying to do what I do well. It’s going good right now.
Center Court: You seem like you’re one of those guys who is always serious on the court. Is that hard sometimes during these informal runs?
Bayless: No, that’s just basketball. I take the game seriously. On the court it’s all business, but off the court I’m an easy-going guy. I like to hang out and chill.
Center Court: I hear you’re quite the ping pong player.
Bayless: I’m trying to find a challenge! I’m trying to find a challenge. No one can beat me so I’m trying to find a challenge out here.
Center Court: Who have you played so far?
Bayless: Everybody. I’ve played everybody in this place. All their names are on my paddle. (Laughs)
Center Court: I hear there are some guys in the local media who can play.
Bayless: They can come in and try me out too if they want. I welcome all challengers.