How Desmond Bane has upped his game.
Now in his third season, Bane is averaging an eye-popping 24.6 points per game, which would be more than a six-point jump in scoring if it holds over the previous season. That could put him in strong contention for Most Improved and make him a shoo-in to make his first All-Star team. Some of that improvement can be attributed to him getting to take more shots with so many injuries, specifically from three where he’s shot lights out.
Bane is launching a staggering 8.8 threes per game and drilling an outrageous 46.8% of those shots. Obviously, that percentage will come down some, but likely not much since he’s shot above 40% in each of his first two seasons. Moreover, nearly nine 3-point attempts per game is a sustainable rate for Bane given his shot selection.
Bane has developed a deadly step-back jumper that allows him to create space to get off threes without the use of a screen. Moreover, he’s shooting an astounding 54.8% on off-the-dribble threes. Few players are truly good at shooting off the dribble, and the ones that are tend to be superstars such as Steph Curry, James Harden, Damian Lillard, and Luka Doncic.
Better yet, playing alongside the likes of Morant allows him to play and score without the ball. Nearly 70% of his shots are assisted, and he’s terrific at using back cuts to get shots at the rim, where he often uses his wide shoulders to shield the ball from shot-blockers. He’s also effective as a spot-up shooter, drilling 38.9% of his catch-and-shoot threes.
All that bodes well for Bane keeping up this high level of play, and it has big implications for the Grizzlies franchise going forward.