While never an ardent proponent of either Bayless or Sergio in the season-long fan war, I've generally been on the side of continuing to play Sergio, as I felt he was more ready to help us now.
Consider my mind changed. Yes, tonight and Chicago are just two games, and mixed in there in Jerryd's recent string of playing time were several very poor games, including last night at Philly. But he's a rookie, and inconsistency is to be expected. Playing through that is the only way he's going to overcome it - the same as Greg. I now think we should let him do it sooner rather than later. Yes, it might cost us a few games this year, but we aren't going to go deep in the playoffs this year anyway, so I'd rather we develop some more, and answer some questions. I think we will make the playoffs either way. And it appears to me Bayless is going to make a pretty quick adjustment.
Make no mistake, Sergio has some ability, does many things better than Jerryd does, and has been much improved this year. I like the guy and hope he does well, I just don't think it will be with us, unless Blake moves on and Sergio remains the backup behind Bayless. Not sure that's going to work though. In the medium and long term, I believe it is now clear that Bayless' potential, both individually and as a fit on this roster, are much greater than Sergio's.
But perhaps even more important than his potential talent, I think Jerryd brings other aspects to this team that we sorely need right now- fire, energy, edge, and a bit of a swagger. The other guys seem to feed off that, and that is something we generally lack on the court. He sparked us in Chicago, he sparked us tonight, and there was another game back at home where he did as well.
So, in my view, let the Bayless era in Portland begin!
EDIT: To clarify, I'm not suggesting Bayless should be the starter or play 35 minutes a game, or even that he has proven he is the long term answer. All I'm saying is that Bayless needs to be in the rotation, getting 15 minutes a night, from here on out. Let's see what he can do, and allow him to work through the rookies inconsistencies.