Toronto Raptors Point Guard Jerryd Bayless Should Start Next Season

Sean McAuliffeContributor IMay 12, 2011

DENVER, CO - MARCH 21:  Jerryd Bayless #5 of the Toronto Raptors looks on during a break in the action against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on March 21, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Raptors 123-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

It is common knowledge amongst basketball fans that the Toronto Raptors' Jerryd Bayless is not a pure point guard. He is more of shooting guard trapped in a point guard’s body. Players such as Bayless often spend the majority of their careers coming off the bench. This article will discuss why Bayless should be promoted to starting point guard for next season.

The fact that Bayless is not a pure point guard does not mean that he cannot be successful in the right system. Another young combo guard that really got people talking this season was Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is more of a scorer than a playmaker.Like Bayless, Westbrook is a young, strong, and quick guard that is at his best when driving to the bucket and drawing fouls.

However, Westbrook has been criticized recently because of his “selfish” play during the postseason. Because of his highly competitive nature, Westbrook can at times become focused solely on scoring points himself, while forgetting to keep his teammates involved.  However, this attitude is also what makes Westbrook so effective. He does not shy away from pressure and is relentless in attacking the basket.

Bayless has shown some of the same strengths and weaknesses during his limited time in Toronto. He is not afraid to take big shots and does not back down to anyone. With extended minutes, Bayless could improve as a playmaker as well. His aggressiveness and confidence is something that is lacking on the Raptors roster.

Toronto’s top two scorers last season, DeRozan and Bargnani, looked timid when taking big shots in the dying minutes of close games. Bayless is a player that could excel in those situations in the future. He would also be an immediate upgrade at the defensive end over Calderon as he is a strong guard with the quickness to keep people in front of him. What he needs is what Westbrook was given: time to prove himself.