By Adam Bjaranson
The stage was Jerryd Bayless' for the taking on Monday night. And the 20-year-old Blazer rookie was as stellar as he has been all season. We can't base the entire body of work on one game, but when Bayless gets a shot, he often comes through with something rather impressive. I'm the first to admit that Bayless has an enormous ceiling as far as talent. We know he has a "score first" mentality. For some teams in the NBA, he's just what they are looking for. I'm not trying to deter him from being that type of player, but right now what the team needs is somebody to fill in in the absence of Steve Blake. And I believe we began to see that tonight (Monday) against the Hornets. When Chris Paul went down near the end of the 3rd, Bayless took the opportunity given and provided EVERYTHING Nate McMillan was asking of him. Bayless hit on 7 of his 9 field goal attempts... finished with 19 points (2nd only to LaMarcus Aldridge). And, above all, got his teammates involved by dishing out 6 assists. He got my game ball tonight... the first of many (I hope). And, in the bigger picture, he helped give Portland sole possession of 4th place in the Western Conference standings.