The Celtics have had a new #11 for two games now, and here are a few initial thoughts besides the fact that he looks a little shorter than Courtney Lee. Against Denver in his first outing Bayless logged 25 minutes, shot 3-11 from the field (0-3 3PT) for 6 points, and posted 3 assists and 3 steals. His stat line was a little better last night in LA: 11 points (3-9 FG, 2-4 3PT), 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals in 20 minutes against the Clippers. The number that really stands out is the 6-20 combined shooting, just 30%. That's been the knock on Bayless this season, he's shooting only 37% for the year.
In addition to taking over Lee's role, Bayless also appears to be cutting into Phil Pressey's playing time. Pressey logged 13 minutes in Denver, but just 5 in LA. Bayless' 5 assists in 20 minutes last night shows he is clearly capable of distributing, and Pressey has only topped that number once all season (8 in 20 minutes vs Charlotte on 11/25). Despite his solid assist numbers, my initial impression of Bayless so far is that he seems a little too eager to call his own number, especially for a guy just starting out with a new team. Never was this more evident than in the final seconds of yesterday's loss.
After trailing by 9 with :39 seconds to go, Boston had managed to cut the deficit to 4 and gain possession with :15 seconds remaining. Kelly Olynyk rebounded a missed free throw and passed the ball to Bayless, who promptly dribbled the length of the court and attempted an ugly off balance layup while trying unsuccessfully to get fouled, effectively ending the game. Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Jordan Crawford, and Olynyk were forced to stand by and watch this happen. Bayless isn't the guy who should have the ball in his hands in that situation (if the move is driving to the basket, it has to be Jeff Green, if it's shooting a 3, it's whoever is open), and it's a little disconcerting that he thought he was. Unless he's clearly the best player on the floor (not even close), you'd think the new guy would defer to somebody else under those circumstances.
Follow Mark Vandeusen on twitter @LucidSportsFan Mark Vandeusen 1/09/2014 02:33:00 PM Tweet