January 2, 2012
Pain lingers for Bayless, Raps
By MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency
ORLANDO - Practice was just wrapping up at the Orlando Sports Center and Jerryd Bayless was the surprise first body out of the gym.
That sprained ankle he suffered Friday night in Dallas is no run-of-the-mill sprain, a fact even Bayless admitted on his way out.
He rolled his ankle this time a year ago in Dallas too and missed some time. This one is more serious.
“I don’t know,” Bayless said of a timeline. “We’ll have to wait and see but this was definitely worse than the one last year.”
Still in the walking boot he was fitted for in Dallas, Bayless is taking the injury in stride — “I’ll live,” he said as he made his way to the team bus — but it’s going to mean a definite change to the point guard rotation where Jose Calderon and Bayless were just settling into a nice rhythm with the split of the minutes.
Head coach Dwane Casey is talking about going with a four-man rotation at the point with Anthony Carter, Leandro Barbosa and possibly Gary Forbes sharing the workload.
“I thought (Barbosa) had some big minutes (Friday night) but you start to see some diminishing returns,” Casey said of adding to Barbosa’s workload. “He was spectacular but once his minute level went up quite a bit higher he started to slow down defensively and they started picking us apart. That’s when Jason Terry got going.”
The way Casey is moulding this team a trade off of less defence for more offence is never acceptable so either Barbosa’s stamina will improve or the minutes will be spread more evenly.
“Friday night, what got us is we made the run, we got the lead and now you know they’re going to make a run but our guys are dog tired,” Casey said. “They come in with Vince Carter, Lamar Odom and Jason Terry, who are three all stars. That’s their second unit. For us, our second unit, we just want to hold serve, but now we don’t have Jerryd Bayless’ points in there and it’s (Anthony Carter’s) first real run so we’re kind of caught in a rut offensively. Hopefully today and going forward, AC will get his rhythm and get us going a little bit more offensively.”
Bayless said he has not seen the tape of the incident so he has no idea how he rolled the ankle. Some have suggested he may have stepped on the ball. There was also the suggestion that he might have stepped on an official’s foot and rolled over on it.
Either way the Raptors won’t be getting much out of Bayless for at least the next little while.