Duke basketball great Grayson Allen gunning for Grizzlies record

Duke basketball legend Grayson Allen (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball legend Grayson Allen (Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports) /

A former Duke basketball sniper has strung together several sizzling shows.

Among the three 2015 Duke basketball national champs on the Memphis Grizzlies roster, shooting guard Grayson Allen is now averaging the most minutes (23.9) and points (10.4).

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Granted, Tyus Jones is of roughly equal importance with averages of 23.5 minutes, 7.7 points, 5.3 assists, 1.3 steals, and only 1.0 turnovers as a trustworthy backup point guard.

As for the third Duke basketball product in town, Justise Winslow (left hip displacement) hasn’t laced ’em up once for the franchise ever since his trade from the Miami Heat in February 2020. However, the forward has been practicing in a limited capacity the past few weeks.

Now, back to Allen. His 6-for-10 clip beyond the arc on Wednesday tied a career-high for 3-point makes on his way to 22 points in a 122-113 home win over the Oklahoma City Thunder (11-17).

Also, Allen joined Jaren Jackson Jr. and Mike Miller as the only Grizzlies who have ever knocked down multiple threes in 10 consecutive appearances. Jackson (2019-20) and Miller (2006-07) both reached 13 games in a row.

Across Allen’s 10-game streak, the No. 22 overall draft pick from 2018 has averaged 14.9 points while shooting 34-for-66 (51.5 percent) from long distance.

Is the Duke basketball alum securing a spot in the starting lineup?

The Memphis Grizzlies (12-12) host the Detroit Pistons (8-20) at 8 p.m. EST Friday. At the moment, Lineups lists Grayson Allen in the projected starting five alongside Ja Morant, Dillon Brooks, Kyle Anderson, and Jonas Valanciunas.

If that is indeed the case, then this would mark the 25-year-old’s fifth straight nod and ninth overall this season after being on the court for tipoff in each of the team’s first four outings as well. Yet as Evan Barnes of the Memphis Commercial Appeal hinted this week, Allen’s start against the Pistons is no sure thing given the expected return of rookie shooting guard Desmond Bane:

“Bane wasn’t listed on the team’s injury report Thursday after missing four games due to personal reasons following the death of his great-grandmother. He leads all rookies in 3-point percentage at 48.2 … Bane earned his first two starts before leaving the team [on Feb. 12].”

And it’s worth noting that Bane’s absence just so happened to coincide with the first time Allen has ever seen 25-plus minutes in four straight NBA games.

But Grayson Allen’s shooting hand seems too hot for the bench.

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