Bayless flashes versatility as combo guard

Bayless flashes versatility as combo guard
March 31, 2014, 11:45 am
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BOSTON -- Combo guard.

It's a label that most players don't want attached to them. Is he a point guard or a shooting guard? Well, that depends on his teammates out there with him, and the opponent.

It's also been the case for Jerryd Bayless, who was traded to the Celtics earlier this season for Courtney Lee.

Bayless will get the start at point guard Monday night for Rajon Rondo, who will not play due to the fact it's the second night of a back-to-back.

It may give the Celtics starting unit a bit of an offensive jolt. Bayless has shown that he can score in bunches.

"Well it's a great compliment if they can play both well," Stevens said of being called a combo guard. "But it's kind of like a switch hitter -- they hit better from one side than the other. But I do think that Jerryd has done a good job at both positions. His ability to score the ball whether he is playing the one (PG) or two (SG) is one of his greatest strengths and a lot of what he's been able to do for us at the one is score when he's at the one.

"So he's done a good job. And the other night he kind of got it going, and we kind of rode him all the way to the end. I think two of our last four, five games -- the one at Dallas and the one at Toronto -- he kind of got going and gave us a chance."

Bayless dropped 20 points on the Raptors in Toronto on 8-for-13 shooting from the field. He scored 14 of those points in a fourth quarter comeback that fell just short. Again in Dallas, he scored 19 points -- 12 of which came in the 4th quarter.

"He's bright, he thinks about the game on both ends of the floor, he's physical, and he can score the ball in a flurry," Stevens said. "So yeah, I like him and I'd like to have him but at the same time I don't know how all that stuff's going to work itself out. But I'm a big fan of Jerryd Bayless; I like him."

Bayless is playing better on the Celtics than he was earlier this season on the Grizzlies. He's averaging 9.7 points per game with the C's while shooting 42.3-percent from the field (37.1-percent from three) compared to 8.1 points and 37.7-percent from the field (30.1-percent from three) with the Griz. He's averaging one more assists per game as well (3.2).

Bayless, who has shown the right attitude in his role on a losing team, has proven to be a very capable third guard on this C's team, and whether or not he's back next season, has done plenty to prove to other teams his worth coming off the bench in that role, at the least.

"Being able to score off the bench first and foremost is really important," Stevens said. "Being able to defend your position is obviously important and obviously on some of the bigger twos as you get in the league gets more difficult, but he's pretty good at defending the ball and pretty good at getting into the ball on ones. So yeah, I think that those would be things that you'd look for in a third or fourth guard."