2014 Awards Series Sixth Man: Jerryd Bayless
|Most Improved||Defensive POY||MVP||Sixth Man||Sharpshooter||Unsung Hero||Game of the Year|
|Kelly Olynyk||Brandon Bass||Jeff Green||Jerryd Bayless||Avery Bradley||Brandon Bass||---|
It’s awards season at Celtics.com. We’re handing out seven awards over the next few weeks as we roll through this year’s Celtics.com Awards Series. We may not have trophies or acceptance speeches, but we do have some top-flight Celtics performances to outline.
Sixth Man of the Year - Jerryd Bayless
Jerryd Bayless didn’t join the Celtics until Jan. 7, but that fact wasn’t enough to prevent him from being Boston’s Sixth Man of the Year. The six-year veteran provided the C’s with everything they could have hoped for from their top guard off the bench.
First and foremost on that list is his ability to adapt. Bayless was thrust into a myriad of roles during his 41 games with Boston. His primary role was as a reserve, but he was oftentimes called upon to be a spot starter. Bayless was also able to step up as a scorer on some nights and a distributor on others.
Brad Stevens brought Bayless off the bench during 27 of his 41 games with the Celtics. He was effective as a reserve, averaging 8.2 points per game and 14.6 points per 40 minutes.
His role with the second unit was to provide minutes at the point guard position while Rajon Rondo rested. Bayless did just that, dishing out 3.3 assists per game during an average of just 22.5 minutes of action off the bench.
But he was also there for Stevens when the coach needed a spot starter in the backcourt. Any time Avery Bradley went down with an ankle injury, or any time Rajon Rondo had to miss a game for rest, it was Bayless who stepped into the starting lineup.
Bayless started 14 games for Boston this season and played at a very high level during those contests. He was a sniper from long range, hitting 47.1 percent of his 3s while also shooting 88.5 percent from the free-throw line. The combo guard also averaged 13.9 PPG and 2.9 APG as a member of the starting group.
While filling those roles for Boston, Bayless led the team in scoring six times. He maxed out with 29 points against the Hawks on Feb. 26 and scored in double-figures during 22 of his 41 games. He also led the Celtics in assists six times and dished out at least five helpers during nine contests.
Those performances weren’t exactly expected considering how the guard had performed with Memphis earlier this season. The numbers indicate that Bayless was much more comfortable after his mid-season move to Boston.
Bayless was unquestionably a much better player for the C’s than he was with the Grizzlies. He finished the season having hit 39.5 percent of his 3-pointers to go along with averages of 10.1 PPG, 2.1 RPG and 3.1 APG for Boston. He had averaged just 8.1 PPG, 1.9 RPG and 2.1 APG while hitting 20.1 percent of his 3s for Memphis.
The entire package that Bayless brought to the table is exactly what a team would expect from its top man off the bench. He was an offensive sparkplug who adapted to any role the team needed him to play, which earned him the honor of Sixth Man of the Year.