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De’Anthony Melton is NBA’s hottest shooter. How Grizzlies guard did it

The game of basketball can be so simple. For De’Anthony Melton, all it took was a couple of minor adjustments for him to go from a steady role player to the NBA’s hottest shooter.

The streak started in Houston, when Melton got so hot for the Memphis Grizzlies that he turned down throwing the extra pass to a wide open Tyus Jones so he could splash another 3-pointer. Melton later said he didn’t see Jones, even though the point guard was looking directly at him.

Well, that’s just how it is sometimes when you’re in a zone. 

Melton has made four or more 3-pointers and shot better than 50% from 3-point range in six straight games. He’s made 30 of his last 51 43 3-pointers. In games he’s made four or more 3-pointers, the Grizzlies (54-23) are 13-1. 

All it took was some mechanical adjustments.

“I would say for me just making sure my base is wide,” Melton said after Saturday’s win against the Milwaukee Bucks. “Make sure I got a solid, good foundation to start there because I used to bring my feet in too close. Just establishing that and making sure I get under the ball. Use my legs, too. Those three things I definitely try to go through every day.”

Melton also switched from his Converse All-Star BB Evo sneakers that he’s worn most of the season to Puma. Both brands are rising in NBA popularity, and Melton, a sneaker free agent, found a new comfort level with Puma. 

“Aye, that’s what I’m hearing,” Melton said when asked if the hot streak is due to the sneaker change.

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Melton is one of those shooters that when he’s on, he’s on. And when he’s off, the bricks come in bunches. He’s what some would describe as a rhythm shooter. 

“That ball’s coming into a shot pocket and we want him to be aggressive when you see that go through, he has been on a heater … ,” Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins said.

There was no better example of Melton’s rhythm shooting than his mid-January return after being in health and safety protocols. He arguably struggled as much as any Grizzlies player who entered protocols. His minutes dropped to as low as 10 over a stretch where he shot 10-for-50 on 3-pointers in his first 11 games back. 

“Honestly, I think that is definitely been with me my whole career,” Melton said. “Once I get going, I’m going. I’m out there. I’m out there. I’m dude with the head cut off out there.”

Now Melton’s impact is going beyond himself. His defense is still at its elite level. He’s also filled in for the injured Ja Morant as the ultimate Grizzlies human highlight with his recent stretch of poster dunks.

But more than anything, Melton’s shooting is opening up opportunities for others. In particular, Desmond Bane, who is identified by each opposing team as the Grizzlies’ shooter. Melton’s hot stretch is helping Bane, evident by his 21-for-36 shooting on 3-pointers in the same five-game stretch.

“We talked about it on the bench, when both of us are out there and we’re running, it’s tough, because if he’s bringing the ball up the floor, he’s a threat to shoot it,” Bane said. “If I’m bringing the ball to floor, I’m a threat to shoot it and we just kind of balance off each other and play off each other. He’s playing great basketball. I’m really happy for him. He’s put the work and put the time in and the results are showing.”

Contact Damichael Cole at and on Twitter @damichaelc 

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