Untimely delay may hurt Duke basketball treasure Grayson Allen

Duke basketball legend Grayson Allen (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Duke basketball legend Grayson Allen (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

A Duke basketball gem must pray a break doesn’t put the brakes on his play.

Especially as of late, Duke basketball alum Grayson Allen has been integral to the Memphis Grizzlies extending their win streak to five games, pushing the team’s record to 7-6 overall as it has jumped to No. 6 in the Western Conference standings.

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Seeing 26 minutes of action in each of the past three outings, Allen has averaged 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.0 assists while shooting a sizzling 8-for-15 from beyond the arc.

And the third-year pro’s hot hand and hustle plays have also proven clutch.

At home against the Phoenix Suns (8-7) on Monday, Allen and fellow 2015 Duke basketball national champ Tyus Jones combined for nine points in the final two minutes to secure a 107-103 victory for the Grizzlies. Seven of those points came from Allen, consisting of a 3-pointer to break a 98-98 tie and then four swished free throws in the closing seconds to end Phoenix’s chances.

Prior to his latest three-game stretch, despite drawing starts in the squad’s first four games of the season, Allen had failed to eclipse 10 points in a game. At the time, the former No. 21 overall draft pick, who had not averaged more than 20 minutes until this year, was averaging only 5.3 points, 1.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting a dismal 28.6 percent from 3-point territory.

Needless to say, Allen surely experienced a significant confidence boost after being on the court in crunch time against the Suns and contributing key production for the Grizzlies in the two previous wins as well.

An inopportune hiatus for the Duke basketball product

Unfortunately for Grayson Allen and the suddenly hot Memphis Grizzlies as a whole, they learned of a pause to their season on Thursday. The NBA announced the postponement of what was supposed to be their next three contests due to COVID-19 contact tracing that would have left the franchise with fewer than the league-required eight available players.

In other words, Allen will now have to figure out a way to maintain his newfound swagger while hoping his increased role is still intact when the Grizzlies get back to work.

Following what will be a nine-day break, Memphis is set to host the Chicago Bulls (7-9) at 8 p.m. EST Wednesday.

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