Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bayless ready to come off the bench

First things first: Rudy Fernandez will replace Brandon Roy (hamstring) in the starting lineup tonight versus the Celtics. Shavlik Randolph will dress with Roy being placed inactive list for the first time this season. I didn't hear an official word on Greg Oden, but I believe he will play.

Expect to see Jerryd Bayless play extended minutes for the first time this season in the second unit. Nate McMillan said pregame that Bayless both guard positions depending on the lineup. So when Bayless is on the floor with Steve Blake, he'll probably play point guard, and he's out with Sergio Rodriguez, he'll hold down shooting guard.

"It’s going to be good," said Bayless, who was just a step below giddy pregame. "Hopefully everything works out. Should be a great opportunity. I’m looking forward to it."

Bayless usually practices as a member of the first unit, subbing in for Blake and Roy when needed, but he didn't seem particularly worried about stepping on the court with the second unit.

"I don’t think it will be different; I’ve just got to find a rhythm with them" said Bayless. "Basketball, to me, has always been a game about rhythm. Obviously it’s short notice, but I’ve played with Joel, I’ve played with all the guys on the team, so I think it will be an easy adjustment."

Bayless has been used sparsely so far this season, which has made the rookie out of Arizona a bit reluctant when it came to shooting, but with playing time all but guaranteed tonight, expect to see the aggressive player that lit up the Las Vegas summer league.

"The reason I’ve been tentative -- that’s a different situation when you don’t know if you’re going back in," explained Bayless. "So it’s like, should I shoot this or is this shot going to get me taken out? That’s a different situation. Now, it’s just basketball. I can go in there and play. Hopefully everything works out. I’ve worked hard for it."


Zach and Yessidey said...

Well Bayless got his minutes! Sorta reminded me of how my dog gets excited and runs and jumps on everything when I come home from work. A little wild, but endearing.

Bayless is going to be good for us. His energy and heart are there. We know the kid has talent. Let's get him some more minutes for his "rythm" and his confidence and he'll be someone we can't afford to take out of the game.

Thanks Casey for the preview!

John said...

Bayless definitely showed sparks of what might make him special in the future: getting to the rim. We know he can finish, last night he had a few good dishes. Future so bright, huh?