Demond Bane has Become an Elite Second Option for Memphis

Petre Thomas-USA TODAY Sports

Demond Bane has Become an Elite Second Option for Memphis


Demond Bane has Become an Elite Second Option for Memphis


Desmond Bane has been one of the 2020 NBA draft’s best players since he’s entered the league. He came into the league projected to be an off-ball shooter who can occasionally make plays with the ball in his hands. Now, he’s heading into his third season and he’s blown those expectations out of the water.. Watch this clip to see the things he can do right now:

Bane’s creation development has been remarkable upon entering the league. However, his scoring diet is still centered around the dynamic shooting ability he was praised for coming out of TCU. He’s shot over 43% from distance every year since he was a rookie and is currently shooting a scorching 45.9% on 8.5 attempts per game. Bane is incredible in catch and shoot scenarios but he’s also a mobile shooter capable of sprinting off screen to nail triples from all over the floor.

However, the real development of his shooting profile has been his expansion as a pull-up shooter. Albeit a small sample, Bane is shooting a blistering 52.1% on 4.8 pull-up threes a game and is currently shooting more pull-ups than catch and shoot shots. The clip he’s hitting these shots at is bound to regress but last year he shot 43.1% on these exact same shots but with a smaller diet. He’s currently 7-13 on all stepback threes as well and creates a really solid amount of separation on these looks:

Bane’s scoring diet is fueled by his elite shooting, but it’s his improvements inside the arc that have helped him take the next step as a scorer. Although his two-point percentage has seen a steady decline since entering the league, his percentage of assisted twos has also decreased. He went from being assisted on 70.9% of his twos as a rookie, 59.6% as a sophomore, and finally 36.6% in his third season. 

He’s been driving to the basket more frequently than in years prior and has taken a much larger self-creation load. He’s going to the rim more frequently than guys like LeBron James and Jordan Poole using a variety of scoops and off hand finishes to get buckets around the room. The results have been slightly below average so far, as he’s converting on just 59% of his shots around the rim, but these numbers should improve as he gets more comfortable driving consistently.

Using strength, a myriad of scoop finishes, and a tightened handle, Bane has a lot of promising driving potential. He’s a below-the-rim finisher but he’s crafty and has solid burst to get into the lane where he can use his strength to finish through contact or go to one of his many underhand finishes. He’s also got a solid floater and can change pace to keep defenders in check when he’s operating in the PNR. He’s also gotten to the line a lot more as a result of driving more often (4.6 FTA).

Desmond Bane’s passing has also flourished with this new role. One of his best traits coming out of the draft was his off-ball passing as a projected spot-up shooter. He could find openings in the defense when attacking closeouts and flashed some very real PNR manipulation. This is the first year he’s putting all that potential together.

His assists are up from 2.7 to 4.6, his assist percentage skyrocketed from 13.5% to 21.6%, and his usage rate went up from 23.1% to 27.0%. With more opportunities and more chances to drive, Bane has taken advantage by whipping passes into cutters, finding the roll man in the PNR, and skipping passes to the corner for wide open threes.

Perhaps the best part of Bane’s fit within the Grizzlies offense is how well he compliments Ja Morant. Morant is one of the league’s best drivers and downhill playmakers, but he doesn’t look to generate assists through his driving. Most of his passing is done from the perimeter despite primarily being a downhill threat. Bane is the complete opposite. Most of his passing chances come when he’s driving and getting into the paint despite the fact that most of his shots come from beyond the arc. They’re a very synergistic duo that has a complimentary scoring and playmaking style.

With Bane’s lethal shooting, improving driving, and complimentary passing, he’s proving to be the perfect “Robin” to Ja’s “Batman”. He’s a high level secondary creator who can explode on any given night because of his incredible shooting ability but has a ton of self-creation moves that allow him to contribute on a nightly basis. He’s extremely efficient and scalable, as he can turn himself into a capable #1 option on nights where Morant is out. Desmond Bane is one of the NBA’s most premier rising stars, and should be a shoo-in All-Star selection this season. 


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