Blazers’ Bayless says dealing with lack of playing time is ‘not easy’

Portland Trail Blazers guard Jerryd Bayless said Saturday that balancing his limited minutes and lack of playing time is “not easy.”

Bayless has played just 61 minutes this season through 14 games. He has been held to 11 minutes in the Blazers’ last three contests.

Bayless did not play because of a coach’s decision during Portland’s 87-81 home victory over the Detroit Pistons on Nov. 18. Bayless then took the court for nine minutes and scored six points in the Blazers’ 108-94 road loss Friday to the Golden State Warriors.

“I think I did well when I was in the rotation; I think I definitely helped this team,” said Bayless, following a morning shootaround at the team’s practice facility in Tualatin, Ore. “Being in and out is not easy. But I guess when it comes to being a pro, you’ve just got to be ready. And when your name is called, you’ve got to be ready to go. But it’s definitely not easy.”

Bayless said the NBA is all about situations, and described his current one as “tough.”

“Coach (Nate McMillan) kind of has his rotation, and I’m in and out of it,” Bayless said. “I know what I can do. And just getting an opportunity — if I get the opportunity, I know I can help this team.”

Bayless is averaging 5.6 points, 1.1 assists and 8.7 minutes per game this season. He has played in seven of the Blazers’ 14 games, starting none.

McMillan turned to Bayless during the preseason when looking for more energy and scrappy play from his team. However, Bayless has struggled to fit into the Blazers’ regular-season rotation.

The 6-foot-3, 200-pound guard sprained his ankle before Portland’s Nov. 14 road contest against the Charlotte Bobcats, and sat out that game because of the injury. McMillan then said Bayless was healthy enough to play following the Blazers’ recent victory over the Pistons.

Bayless was the 11th overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft out of the University of Arizona.

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