Aaron Brooks absolutely killed the Blazers. Am I wrong? Didn't think so. I personally see a huge correlation between the fact that Portland lost by 27, and Brooks scored 27 points on us. Brooks is fast. He's the kind of player that has given the Blazer point guards fits all season long, and it showed last night. But he has a flaw.
The Blazer points are defensive liabilities, yes. And I'm including Bayless on this one simply due to youth and the lack of a good sample size. I doubt anyone has a good argument against this.
But the one aspect of Defense that I never hear mentioned is: Offense. Bear with me.
Aaron Brooks did not have to think about defense last night, at all. For the whole game. Playing the Point Guard position in the NBA is one of the most mentally demanding positions in all of sports. Since he didn't have to worry about moving his feet and keeping his man in front, he was able to concentrate purely on offense. This is why I think the Blazers Points need to drive and go for the score on him, not just be a 3-point camper (Blake) or so inconsistent that you dare him to beat you (Go Go). Sergio has shown flashes this season of an inside game. A layup here, a teardrop there. The fact that he can dribble so well is one reason why, but because the D knows he won't (or can't?) beat them with his own shots, they can play off of him and clog the passing lanes.
Which is why I would start Bayless.
Bayless is a rookie, yes. He's inexperienced, yes. He's raw and inconsistent, yes.
But the man can drive to the hole, which is exactly how the Blazers need to attack Brooks. Aaron is six foot even. He's not a big point guard. He's quick, but he lacks upper-body strength, though it has improved in the last year. Plus Brooks is a sophomore. He doesn't know all of the tricks yet, but on the flipside of the same coin; he doesn't know what he CAN'T do yet. OK, maybe starting Bayless is a bit extreme, but I don't think by much. Bayless can drive on Brooks. He's good enough to do that. He also has a pretty good outside shot when he's feeling confident (like at Arizona). He's not going to make Aaron Brooks disapear, but he'll make him think.
And making a Point Guard think about something besides his Offense is half the battle.