The Nets had hopes of beating Portland Trail Blazers last night. Legitimate hopes, at that, until this rookie put those hopes to rest. Portland, missing Steve Blake with a separated right shoulder, was forced to give significant minutes to Jerryd Bayless. The 20-year-old took advantage of the consistent minutes and exploited the Nets’ sieve-like interior defense, scoring all six of his field goals in the paint and getting to the line 11 times.

Jerryd Bayless can’t shoot, and his game is clearly has more shooting guard than point guard. This is why Nate McMillan’s kept the talented Bayless on the fringe of the Blazer rotation thus far. But against a team that gives up the third-most and one opportunities in the League, Jerryd Bayless had a field day. He hammered this down on Bobby Simmons (who embodied the typical, tough as nails Nets’ defense to the tee), got the foul, and led the Blazers to their 24th W, giving the team sole possession of the 5th seed in the West.