Expectations were relatively high when the Milwaukee Bucks acquired Grayson Allen last offseason. They didn’t give up a ton and he was seen as someone who could be a consistent starter. Expectations only increased after signing an extension before even playing a game. Well, for the most part, Allen at least met those expectations.
Assessment of Grayson Allen’s 2021-22 season with the Milwaukee Bucks during the NBA All-Star break
Overall this season, Allen is averaging 11.5 points on 58.1 percent true shooting, 3.4 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 0.8 steals. He’s shooting over 39 percent from 3 on over six attempts per game.
In an ideal world, a new player (especially a starter) would have the chance to navigate the mainstream with their new teammates. This was not the case! Allen was thrown right into the fire with the Milwaukee Bucks starters as they dealt with early injuries and illnesses to Jrue Holiday and Khris Middleton.
He responded by finding early chemistry with Giannis Antetokounmpo and being a very valuable floor spacer who would make teams pay if they left him open. In his first 22 games, Allen shot nearly 43 percent from 3 on over seven attempts. He was one of the best shooters in the whole league during this period and we all felt very good in the business.
He then missed a game against the Miami Heat with illness, returned to play seven more games, missed a few games with the same illness, returned once more to play six games before entering COVID protocols.
In those 13 games, Allen shot less than 32% on more than six attempts from deep and didn’t look like the same player who kills teams to start the season. The fact that he goes into COVID protocols may have been some sort of hidden blessing, though. He came back, shot over 40% from 3 in his last 13 games and looked more like what we thought we’d expect from him after his blistering start.
Diving a little deeper in his shooting, Allen is shooting less than 39 percent on catch-and-shoot on about five attempts per game, according to NBA.com/stats. That’s almost two percent less than he shot last season, which is a bit of a surprise, but some of that is probably due to his cold stretch continuing to bring him down (he shot 30 percent on catch-and-shoot attempts in those tough 13 games apiece).
Allen has more than fulfilled the “Bryn Forbes role” as a catch-and-shoot guy who can fly off the screens and execute two-man action with Antetokounmpo through mostly dribble transfers. He has shown that he is more than fair a guy who can let it fly.
It’s a small number of attempts, but Allen is shooting over 42% on pullup 3s this season (just 66 attempts) and has proven he can get his own shot from the dribble.
I focused so much on his 3-point shooting with his offense because, well, that’s a big majority of what he does. Over 68% of his shot attempts were 3s, but he also showed some efficiency scoring on the rim. His rim numbers are down slightly from the last two seasons at 61% on 69 attempts, but I’d like to see him continue to be used as a cutter or have him drive more often as well.
Defensively, Allen held up pretty well. We don’t need to compare him to Donte DiVincenzo anymore, but I would still have DiVincenzo as the best defender, but Allen was solid. He held opposing guards to 40.9 percent shooting on more than six attempts per game.
He likely benefits from some shooting luck given that opposing guards are shooting 31% on 3 on three attempts per game, which is well below the league average (35%), but he contests nearly six shots per game, so it probably affects opposing shooters a bit. .
Despite the mid-season slump, Allen was a huge win for general manager Jon Horst and was easily the best acquisition this past offseason. Please don’t get suspended again.
BTBP All-Star Break Rating: A-
Allen missed the last game before the break with a hip injury, so hopefully the time off will give him a chance to heal and he can end the season the way he started it.