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Old 12-16-2011, 09:04 PM   #1 (permalink)

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Default Bayless putting it together

When he was traded to Toronto from New Orleans last November, less than a month after he was shipped from Portland to New Orleans, Bayless admitted he needed time to learn Toronto’s plays. Nevertheless, he contributed 10.0 points and 4.0 assists per game and shot 81% from the free throw line. Yet the Raptors’ new coaching staff thinks Bayless can offer more.

“Jerryd is an excellent pick-and-roll player,” Raptors assistant coach Tom Sterner said, “and what we’re trying to get Jerryd to do is to be able to manage the game and be able to get other players involved.”

Sterner came with head coach Dwane Casey from Dallas and says the example Bayless needs to follow is Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd.

“[Kidd] always knew who needed a shot, he always knew how to engage somebody else,” Sterner said, “so whether a player came back and got a rebound or whether a player came back and played better on the defensive end, Kidd managed the game that way. And I think that is where, as [Bayless] continues to grow, he will get better in that area.”

Toronto’s coaches have been reminding Bayless of his options, like a quarterback with numerous reads down field, so can he can learn to anticipate where his teammates will be around the basket. It is a gradual process on a team learning so many lessons.

“I think it is just a habit,” Sterner said. “We are trying to retrain guys in terms of where they need to be on the floor.”

Casey believes Bayless has played well in training camp so far, and is glad he recognizes Calderon, the experienced veteran, is Toronto’s starter. But that does not mean the coach has diminished expectations of Bayless and his potential.

“My thing is, who is in the important moments of the game is more important than who starts. I think Jose Calderon does a really good job of running the show. But Jerryd gives us what we need to win, whether he is starting or coming off the bench,” Casey said.
Toronto Raptors' Jerryd Bayless putting it all together | Sports | National Post
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