Grayson Allen must regain his footing with Milwaukee Bucks upon return

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 03 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - JANUARY 03 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After a four-game absence due to the health and safety protocols, Grayson Allen appears ready to return to the Milwaukee Bucks’ lineup tonight versus the Golden State Warriors. The shorthanded Bucks will certainly welcome their starting shooting guard back into the fold with open arms as an array of injuries and illnesses have taken a toll on them lately. Although he may have to shake off his rust following the extended absence, Allen could be the boost this team needs right now following four losses in their last five games.

In the bigger picture, Allen has been great in his first year with the Bucks. In fact, the two-guard is in the middle of a career year by averaging 11.9 points while shooting 41.4 percent from the field and 38.9 from 3-point range, while tallying 3.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists in 28.4 minutes per night. While his overall numbers are solid, Allen has put on a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act in stretches this season, either playing incredibly well or terribly lackluster. He entered the protocols in a significant shooting slump, but the guard must look to get back on the right track upon returning.

Looking at Grayson Allen’s play throughout November and December for the Milwaukee Bucks and how he can snap this slump

After a shortened October due to the start of the season, Allen’s first full month with the Bucks in November provided no shortage of optimism surrounding his fit with the franchise. The guard was fantastic offensively by averaging 13.9 points while shooting a red-hot 47.5 percent from the floor and 45.8 percent from three on 6.9 attempts across 14 games. Allen’s confidence was through the roof over the course of the month as he found his niche on the offensive end.

Following a strong November, Allen abruptly hit the wall in December by averaging just 8.8 points while shooting 36.6 percent from the floor and 35.1 percent from deep. For whatever reason, the 26-year-old just could not find any way to replicate the success he saw throughout the previous month. The trend carried over into January as he shot a combined 5-of-20 from 3-point land over two games before entering the protocols.

Obviously, the Bucks would like to see more November Allen than December Allen upon his return. The looks are there for him offensively every night, as he currently leads the league in “wide-open” 3-point attempts with 174 and makes with 70, according to Playing alongside an incredible amount of talent like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and Khris Middleton allows Allen to get so many wide-open looks out on the perimeter, which has taken his game up a notch this season.

More than anything else, these wide-open 3-pointers will dictate Allen’s success with the Bucks, which the numbers prove. Throughout November, he shot a red-hot 32-of-63 on such shots from long range, an efficient 50.8 percent. However, that number regressed mightily in December as he shot just 20-of-56, a less than stellar 35.7 percent on looks with six or more feet of space. Sure, it seems simple to say that Allen needs to knock down his wide-open looks, but that is truly the best remedy for this pesky slump.

Upon his return, the Bucks will continue to assure Allen to keep letting it fly. In fact, they may even find ways to get him more involved early on to try and get him going. It will be a huge game for his return with the Warriors coming to town, and the Bucks will need him, particularly as Holiday is on the current injury report due to ankle soreness. Allen tends to play his best basketball when there is a member of Milwaukee’s leading trio missing due to his usage increasing, and this could be an opportunity to get back on track with a bang if Holiday cannot go.

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Allen could be a potential X-factor for the Milwaukee Bucks when that outside shot is falling.