As I write this, Jerami Grant is a member of the Detroit Pistons. By the time it posts, Jerami Grant may no longer be a member of the Detroit Pistons (hoping the folks over at Blog A Bull will be able to use it and they can send us some Patrick Williams tape in return). (Editor’s note: Jerami’s still here, but if Blog A Bull wants to send Patrick this way, I’m all for it).
I still believe he will be moved by the trade deadline, but regardless of his immediate future, I still wanted to break down his game since his return on Feb. 1.
To start, I want to give everyone a quick look at the “numbers” from last season with pre- and post-injury for Grant this season
- Full Season: 22.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 2.8 APG, 0.6 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 43% on 17.3 FGA, 35% on 6.1 3PA, 85% on 6.4 FTA and 2.0 TOPG in 54 Games Played (33.9 MPG)
- Pre-Injury: 20.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG, 1.1 BPG, 41% on 15.9 FGA, 33% on 5.3 3PA, 85% on 6.1 FTA and 2.1 TOPG in 24 Games Played (33.2 MPG)
- Post-injury: 14.3 PPG, 2.8 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.0 SPG, 0.8 BPG, 37% on 13.0 FGA, 38% on 5.3 3PA, 79% on 3.5 FGA and 2.0 TOPG in 4 Games Played (29.5 MPG)
Just a few things that jump out at me when looking at these numbers. The “defensive numbers” do not at all show the impact that Grant can make on that end of the floor. I will discuss in detail later, but I think he has been VERY, VERY good on the defensive end since his return.
I also think that it is noteworthy that his shot attempts were down from last season BEFORE the injury and even more so since his return (albeit in 3 fewer minutes). I will not take too much from the shooting numbers in such a small sample size but it was worth watching if the FTA numbers return back to what we saw last season and to start this year as he has been one of the better players in the league getting to the free throw line since joining Detroit.
What I, and hopefully you, are most interested in is what the product on the court looks like. I will take a look at two aspects of his offense in this breakdown, his scoring and creating, and then a look at his defensive impact as a whole.
Offense — Scoring
A couple weeks ago. I came across a graphic that showed how much more efficient Saddiq Bey is when he keeps his dribble count low. I think the same can be said for Grant. I do think he is one of those players that likes to have a 1 or 2 dribble to get in rhythm for his mid-range shot, not necessarily from 3, and when he sticks to that I don’t mind the shots he usually ends up taking. On 2-point shots with between zero and two dribbles, Grant is shooting 47%. More than two dribbles, and he’s hitting 41% of his twos.
Again, much like Bey, Grant is at his best and the best for the offense when he makes a quick and decisive decision on the catch. The catch-and-shoot numbers are solid, and when he catches and immediately gets downhill with one or fewer change of direction move, good things can happen. The issue before the injury and slowly sneaking back into his game since his return is we see too many possessions that turn into straight isolation and do not usually end with a positive result.
Offense - Creating/Passing
When it comes to Grant as a “creator” it comes down to him being willing to turn down some shots and be more of that connector. Some of my favorite clips in the breakdown are ones where you can see he WANTS to continue his isolation but instead decides to move the ball and get a teammate a better look. There are definitely some good reps in his return but it hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows.
I showed in the previous breakdown an example of where the isolations were unsuccessful so I will not double down on those but Grant also struggles with bad/poor decisions when asked to facilitate/create opportunities for teammates AND at times he is just flat out off target with his passes which make the shot that much tougher for his teammates.
I am not going to spend near the amount of words as I normally would asking for and highlighting where Jerami Grant can be a better defensive rebounder. If you have read previous articles, you know I want to see more.
I will say that I was reminded throughout this breakdown the impact Grant can have on the defensive end of the floor. I don’t know that the 0.8 blocks per game really highlight the weak side rim protection he can provide when he is the “low man.” I also think these four games have been able to highlight what he can do as an on ball defender.
If I had one question with him defending on the wing coming out of this breakdown it would be his screen navigation. I will be honest, with this not being a strictly defensive breakdown I didn’t focus quite as much on this area but I will show a couple plays from the Celtics game where it has me interested to watch closer moving forward.
The thing that was most frustrating for this breakdown is we didn’t get the amount of minutes with Grant and Cade on the floor together that I was expecting. At the end of the day, that is really what matters for every current and future member of this roster. Defensively, I am not sure there is a ton that changes in that scenario but I was very interested to see what kind of, if any, chemistry the two of them had together offensively.