Grizzlies rookie Desmond Bane continues to impress in his first season. In 21 minutes Sunday night, he finished with 13 points (5-8 FG, 3-4 3Pt) to go along with two assists in a 108-94 loss to the Lakers.
Bane has scored in double figures in the last three games and is averaging 13.0 points on the season while shooting 48.4 percent from the field as a reserve.
Bane has made multiple three-point shots in the first six games of his career, the second-longest such streak to start a career in NBA history, behind Chicago Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, who recorded 10 straight in 2017.
The TCU standout has become more comfortable with his game, and it is showing. He gives credit to his teammates and the organization. “The older guys have given me a lot of confidence,” he said after the game. “The player development program here is really strong, really good. It’s definitely helped my game. Learning the system, learning my teammates, learning the NBA. ... As I continue to get more comfortable and gain more experience, I’ll get better," he added. “I think experience is definitely the key right now. The game is slowing down, learning the offense, and kind of where I can get to my spot, and things like that are why those numbers are going up.”
Bane was also excited to share the court with fellow rookie Xavier Tillman for the first time. “So happy for him. He’s a competitor. For him to have to sit out on the road trips knowing that he could help our team, especially when guys were going down,” Bane said. “I know it was tough on him. I was super excited for him to not only get out there but to play well in the minutes that he had.”
The Michigan State standout admitted he was a bit timid before his first game at the FedExForum. He said, “I can’t lie, going into it, minutes beforehand, I was nervous, but as the game was getting ready to start, I got into that competitive mode. It was fun.”
The Grizzlies’ big man was appreciative of having a chance to get into action after missing the first five games. “It was great, especially me being able to get in the first quarter after I’ve been sitting out a few games,” Tillman said. “Coach trusted me, like, ‘Hey, I’m going to give you a couple minutes early on.’ That was huge. It was a big confidence builder in me. If you have faith in me like that to get it going in the first quarter then I have to bring it.”
After the game, Coach Taylor Jenkins said, “It was great to see X’s [Xavier Tillman] first game of the season. I thought he gave us some great contribution, and that’s how we are built.”
Welcome Home, Marc Gasol
The Grizzlies played a tribute video for Marc Gasol. It was Gasol’s first game back in Memphis since being traded to the Toronto Raptors in 2019.
Big Spain thought it was awkward being in a different locker room and warming up on the other side of the court since Memphis had been his home for nearly 11 seasons.
Memphis made a tribute video for Marc Gasol during the Lakers-Grizzlies game today ❤️ pic.twitter.com/pjFjwvyFwC— Bleacher Report NBA (@BR_NBA) January 3, 2021
Honored at the place he called home from age 16, by the team he gave 11 years to. pic.twitter.com/BeGayExuTp— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) January 4, 2021