Saturday, February 4 2023
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The Memphis Grizzlies will be without Desmond Bane for the next 2-3 weeks due to a toe sprain, the team announced on Tuesday. Bane will be reevaluated at that time and his status will be updated accordingly. 

Bane suffered the injury during the team’s 114-103 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Nov. 11, though it’s unclear exactly when it happened as he did not leave the game and played his usual 30-plus minutes. He did not suit up in the team’s most recent outing, a 10-point loss to the Washington Wizards

The good news for the Grizzlies is that this doesn’t appear to be a long-term issue. Still, Bane will be a significant loss for however long he’s off the floor. The third-year guard has taken yet another leap this season and has not only been one of the team’s best players, but one of the league’s best guards. 

Through 12 games, Bane is averaging 24.7 points, 4.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game, all of which are career-high marks. He is 15th in the league in scoring, and along with Ja Morant forms the second-highest scoring combination in the league. Their 53.5 points per game are second only to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are combining for 57.3 a night. 

Bane’s 3-point shooting has been a big part of his success. His 46 made 3s are tied for fifth in the league, and among the 15 players who have attempted at least 100 3s, he has been the most efficient at 45.1 percent. Even more impressive is that he’s doing this with elite off-the-dribble shooting, not just as a catch-and-shoot specialist. He’s making 47.3 percent of 4.6 pull-up 3s per game; Donovan Mitchell (47.5 percent) is the only player with at least four pull-up 3s per game who has been more efficient. 

Given his shooting and scoring ability, it’s no surprise Bane has been a major driver of the Grizzlies’ success. The team’s offensive rating is 117.6 when he’s on the floor and 103.1 when he sits. It will be interesting to see if the Grizzlies are able to maintain what’s been nearly a top-10 offense in his absence. While they have plenty of depth, they don’t have anyone who can replicate Bane’s threat as a high-volume shooter. 

One silver lining for the Grizzlies is that the schedule isn’t super difficult over the next three weeks. The New Orleans Pelicans are the only team on the docket that’s currently above .500, and during that stretch they have two games against the Detroit Pistons, who are last in the Eastern Conference. 



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