So, it turns out, the NBA isn’t too big for Desmond Bane.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ rookie made his professional basketball debut Saturday, facing off against the Minnesota Timberwolves in both teams’ preseason opener.
The results were... well, taking a look for yourself:
Bane was drafted for his shooting ability, of course, but showcased the other aspects of his game that made him worth trading into the first round for the Grizz. Playing 22 minutes off of the bench Saturday — the most by any reserve — Bane dropped 12 points on 5-7 shooting, including draining two of his three attempts from behind the arc. He added two assists and an impressive four rebounds — he was one of the best rebounders at the guard position in the Big 12 the last two years — giving him a +/- of 14 for the game, second-best of the game.
He looked as smooth as ever in the process:
Bane could have a big role in Memphis as a rookie; though he is currently behind Dillon Brooks on the depth chart, his efficiency as a scorer, rebounding ability, and defensive intensity will ensure that he gets plenty of time. Brooks is a bit of a volume scorer who shot 40% from the field and 35% from three a season ago, for an adjusted eFG of 47.6%. All were right around his career averages in three seasons in the league.
Bane, as a collegiate player, was a 43.4% shooter from deep and shot nearly 50% from the field across his four year career at TCU. We will have to wait and see how those stats project at the professional level, but if he continues to be that efficient on offense and that tenacious on the glass, he will certainly get his minutes — and be in line for a starting position.
It’s just one game, but Bane’s debut has Memphis fans ecstatic.
Positives to take from Memphis Grizzlies 1st preseason game:— Kelcey Jordan Wright Johnson (@kelwright) December 13, 2020
Ja Morant is cooking (20pts, 11ast on 66% FG)
Desmond Bane is going to be an impactful rookie (12pts on 62% FG)
30 assists (vs Twolves 17)
54 paint points (vs 36)
14 turnovers (vs 22)
24 pts off turnovers (vs 8)
It’s so obvious how perfect of a fit Desmond Bane is in Memphis. Sticking with my all rookie first team prediction for him #GrindCity— Mavs Draft (@MavsDraft) December 13, 2020
Grizzlies fans loving Desmond Bane, I am swooning— Jackson Frank (@jackfrank_jjf) December 13, 2020
His point guard is pretty impressed, too:
Ja Morant had high praise for Desmond Bane last night in the Grizzlies' preseason opener— Evan Barnes〽️ (@evan_b) December 13, 2020
"I'm talking to him every chance I get. I know what kind of player he can be. Just keep preaching go out there and play your usual game. Be aggressive"
For Des, though, it’s just business:
First one in the— Desmond Bane (@DBane0625) December 13, 2020
Next up for Bane and the Memphis Grizzlies is another matchup with the Timberwolves, who they will face this evening in Minnesota. Tip off is set for 7:00pm. The game will be available on FOX Sports Southeast and on Memphis ESPN Radio: 92.9FM/680AM.