I've finally figured out my issue with Bayless as a point guard. I love his drive, and hustle - there is no doubt he lays it on the line every time out. However, I'm not a fan of his demeanour or on-court personality but that is not the issue. There is no doubt he is very athletic and talented from a skill perspective which is great. However, I'm not a fan of his decision making. His confidence in himself is inspiring.
Despite his great stat line versus Charlotte and over the previous 4 games, I found myself not impressed with his play as a point guard. The stats are incredible but here is my issue:
I would like my starting PG to look for teammates before he looks for himself in the first 12-14 seconds of the shot clock - obviously an opportunity within the flow of the game (clear lane, open shot) needs to be taken, I'm not talking about that. I have no problem with a scoring PG within the parameters of team play. A scoring PG who takes liberties with their scoring opportunities because the ball is in their hands earliest and most often is another story.
Too many times, in my opinion, Bayless takes a quick pull up or drives the lane for a contested layup very early in the shot clock or quickly after getting past half. Also too often, in my opinion, he holds the ball dribbling too long missing the split second opportunity to deliver the ball to a teammate when he is open - maybe if basketball treated assists like hockey (last 2 passes before a goal count as assists) he'd be more willing to give the ball up. Finally, in my opinion, I do not like the mentality that he will do it on his own when things break down for the team. There is a very fine line in the good/bad divide with this trait, his confidence is incredible but his execution leaves much to be desired for me - this comes back to the idea of a starting PG looking for teammates in the first half of the shot clock and creating for himself in the second half. When the other team is pulling away, you don't want a quick shot (one dribble pull up, example) early in the clock - it is great when it goes in but shows a poor decision when one misses. When your own team is pulling away or going on a run, you don't want a quick shot (drive versus 3 players for example) early in the clock - if you make the bucket or get fouled it is great but if you miss it shows a poor decision. These are very fine lines I realize, however, making a shot doesn't make it a good shot.
The last 5 games, JB has played great statistically. Unfortunately I don't think the statistics tell the whole story as a starting PG. I've seen all the games except the first half versus Charlotte and the previous paragraph are the things that stick out to me.
Something to consider for those who think he could be the starting PG for the Raptors moving forward beyond this season which also speaks to those who point to his statistics as success:
Statistics for the last 5 games:
Great numbers, no doubt. I highlighted the shooting percentages because in the last 5 games he has started, despite shooting just over 54%, he is still shooting just 43% as a starter in 10 games. Off the bench he shoots 39.1%. On the year he is shooting 41.2%. in 225 games played in the NBA he is a career 41% shooter.
At some point, he'll revert back to the mean - the law of averages almost guarantees it. So ask yourself 2 questions and attempt to answer honestly and objectively:
1) do you think he is capable of continuing this shooting pace indefinitely because he now starts? (54.3%)
2) do you think you would feel the same about his prospects as the starting PG of the team had he shot his career and season average of 41% over the last 5 games?
Something else to consider, statistics by result:
11 games, 24.8 minutes, 9.7 points, 36.7% fg, 38.7% 3pt, 82.9% ft, 4.3 assists, 2.6 rebs, .6 stl, 2.0 turnover
16 games, 22.9 minutes, 12.8 points, 43.8% fg, 40.3% 3pt, 88.6% ft, 3.6 assists, 1.9 rebs. .6 stl, 1.6 turnover
Personally, it makes me a little bit nervous when I see a player perform better individually in losses than in wins.
I hope my message is clear and this makes sense. I really don't hate Jerryd Bayless. I just don't like his game as a starting PG and I don't think his performance over the last 5 games is sustainable.