NBL: Bullets won’t take unnecessary risks with Baynes

The Brisbane Bullets will resist the temptation to abuse star rookie Aron Baynes in his return to basketball despite their rocky start to the NBL season.

After being beaten 87-73 by the Wildcats in Perth in their opener of the new campaign last weekend, the Bullets are on the road again on Friday night against defending champions Sydney before traveling to Tasmania to meet the Jackjumpers, last season’s finalists. , on Sunday.

The last thing Brisbane wants is to start the season with three successive defeats, but Bullets coach James Duncan won’t push Baynes too far in the former NBA big man’s return to the sport after the career-threatening neck injury he suffered at the Tokyo Olympics last year. .

“People need to understand that (the game against Perth) was his fourth game since the crash at the Olympics,” Duncan said.

“He couldn’t walk. It is a great achievement that he is playing professional basketball again.

“It’s our job to protect it and make sure it develops in the right way.”

That means Baynes isn’t certain to play the Jackjumpers on Sunday.

“In a normal situation, his body was used to (two games in three days) playing in the NBA,” Duncan said.

“It will be more difficult for him. We’re building it, and we’ll see how it goes Friday night.

“I don’t think anyone should expect him to play 40 minutes in Sydney, but he is an important part of what we are trying to do.

“He’s a competitor and he wants to stay on the pitch, but the coaching staff and I have to handle him in the right way.”

Duncan said he “loved” that the Bullets had a tough draw to start the season.

“It’s a big challenge. Our intensity has to be there, (and) our focus has to be there,” he said.

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