Detroit Pistons: Jerami Grant making a Siakam-like leap to stardom

DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 01: Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons goes to dunk the ball (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MICHIGAN - JANUARY 01: Jerami Grant #9 of the Detroit Pistons goes to dunk the ball (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

After signing a three year, $60 million dollar deal this off-season with the Detroit Pistons, Jerami Grant has gotten off to one of the hottest starts in the NBA.

Coming from a Denver Nuggets team with a unique style of offense, featuring their highly skilled center, Jerami Grant has transitioned seamlessly into his new role of top scorer for the Detroit Pistons, averaging career highs in points, (24.8) rebounds, (6.4)  and steals, (0.8) as of Saturday.

(All stats courtesy ESPN Stats).

While his skill set has steadily improved each year, Grant has essentially gone from the role of modern day, prototypical 3-and-D wing with the Nuggets last season, to a multi-faceted, three-level scorer with the Pistons, capable of creating for himself and others, while still managing to defend at a high level.

His ability, playing style, and statistics have mirrored the kind of breakout impact Pascal Siakam had for the Toronto Raptors in 2019. He went from being the Most Improved Player a year before, to being a full-fledged All-Star.

Arguably the most impressive part of Grant’s hot start and Siakam’s breakout year is efficiency.  Through his first nine games, Grant has shot 46.4 percent from the field, while attempting more than double the amount of shot attempts he took last season, going from 8.9 to 18.4.

Siakam’s breakout year consisted of a similar jump. He went from attempting 11.8 shots per game, to 18.4, while still managing to shoot 45.4 percent. In Siakam’s breakout season, he averaged career highs in points (22.9), rebounds, (7.3), and assists, and steals, (1.0), and Grant has averaged career highs in these same categories so far.

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Outside of the stats, Grant has been terrific offensively and defensively,. The 6-9 forward out of Syracuse diversifies what Detroit is able to do on both ends of the ball.

Much like what Siakam is for Toronto, Grant’s skillset has enabled him to initiate the offense as sort of a point forward spot, run pick and rolls as the ‘ ‘3’ or ‘4’.

He can serve as a playmaker out of the wing or top of the key, who can find the open man or instantly create for himself in the paint, from the midrange, or the three point line.

Both players serve as go-to weapons for their respective teams, due to their ability to play any position out of their team’s sets, find easy points on back cuts, and create for themselves, or others, late in the shot-clock or in isolations.

Defensively, which was what Grant was known for until this year, Grant’s ability to switch on to guards and forwards has allowed him to stay in front of virtually everyone. His length keeps him in almost every possession, even when he’s beat or out of position.

While either boxing out, recovering to the help spot, and/or altering shots with length or athleticism aren’t often focused upon, Grant has done all at an exceptionally high level, while still managing to generate offense as an instant shot creator and becoming Detroit’s go-to guy.

Siakam has had a similar impact on Toronto.

The Cameroonian’s terrific length, along with high basketball IQ, have allowed him to guard positions 1 through 5, and has also given Toronto much more flexibility defensively.

Siakam and Grant are two of the game’s most versatile defenders, and can be used in almost any lineup. Both guys are more than capable of playing, and thriving, in a defense that goes small, big, or stays traditional.

There are very few guys who carry a major role both offensively and defensively, and maintain both at an All-Star caliber level.

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If Grant can continue this caliber of play, like Siakam has been able to maintain for Toronto, Detroit will find itself with the Most Improved Player of the Year, and a player on the verge of making the All-Star game.