I’d like to discuss the Psychology of Jerryd Bayless. I’ve been watching him. No, not stalking. I’ve simply been watching his interactions as best I could, and I’ve come to a few loose conclusions. I’d be interested in hearing other opinions.
Situational Awareness. That is Jerryd’s Kryptonite. He wants to win, and he’s always been the best player on the floor. That has resulted in him developing tunnel vision to some extent. His first instinct is to create his own shot, using his teammates as needed for him to score. That style of play has been reinforced throughout his college experience as well as in summer league. Does that mean that he is always going to shoot? No, but it does mean that his situational awareness seems limited to himself and his defender. There are moments where teammates create an obvious situation of advantage that he can recognize, but any assist seems due to his inability to create a shot, rather than an attempt to set-up a player. Is that a new interpretation of Jerryd? I don’t think so. It seems to be agreed that he is a shoot-first type of playmaker. Much like Kxbe, Jerryd wants to dominate the opponent, not just win. That killer instinct is needed on this team, but even more importantly is the multiplier effect a good set-up man brings.
Brandon Roy is a great set-up man. He’s tall enough to see the court well, skilled enough to get his own shot when needed, and intelligent enough to use the other players on the floor to get the TEAM an optimal shot attempt. IMO he’s the new version of Jason Kidd or Magic Johnson. It’s that multiplier effect that not only makes Roy great, but makes those around him better than they would be with another player.
It’s undeniable that Jerryd is a baller. The question becomes, how do you put him in a position to take advantage of his abilities while at the same time maximizing the abilities of the players around him? The answer? Practice. Practice. Practice. For now, put him up against Sergio for minutes as the back-up PG for in-game experience. He should be a strong plug-in player capable of coming in to instantly put any defensively weak PG on his heels, create havoc in the paint, and basically do what Jack did last season with better results (hopefully).
In practice, he should be added to Nate’s group of pupils for personal training. Nate should be able to turn his raw abilities into something honed and infinitely more dangerous by helping him trust that his teammates will dominate for him. He needs to learn that his true power lies in his mind and his ability to recognize offensive/defensive patterns and act accordingly. By using his mind he can harness the power of his teammates to exploit one weakness in the opposition’s defense, creating a higher percentage shot attempt than he would have been able to accomplish alone. If he has the mental bandwidth to process that much information he’ll be unstoppable. At the moment, however, his situational awareness seems to be that of a rookie needing more experience and knowledge. That’s not a negative for Jerryd, it’s a fact of life for any rookie coming to the NBA after a single season of college. If Jerryd works at the TEAM part of his game as hard as he did his individual skills, he’ll put Chris Paul to shame in three years.
Is that a fair estimation, or am I reading too much into this?