He Earns More playing time
Bazemore averaged just over four minutes per game in 61 games last year. The bulk of his time on the court came in the closing minutes of blowouts, when Jackson rested his starters in favor of giving bit players and D-League call-ups a chance to prove their worth.
The results were mixed on the offensive end. In a March 15 contest against the Chicago Bulls – the worst game of Golden State’s season, in my mind – Bazemore hit 5-of-6 from the field during the fourth quarter, forcing Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau to call a pair of timeouts even as Chicago held onto its double-digit lead. The two-time Colonial Athletic Association defensive player of the year also had good showings against the Oklahoma City Thunder and Cleveland Cavaliers (click to see the respective box scores).
Extended minutes against the Miami Heat and Houston Rockets yielded weaker results. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, however, as Bazemore’s lengthier outings tended to be weeks or months apart. Players struggle to keep their offensive game fresh with regular playing time, and consistent output is even more difficult to achieve in sporadic action.
Bazemore’s always been an impressive defensive player – that’s why his most meaningful minutes came during defensive possessions – and his string of above average offensive performances during the Summer League are encouraging, and could earn him more minutes.