Detroit Pistons: How to beat Jerami Grant and the Trail Blazers

Portland Trailblazers forward Jerami Grant Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
Portland Trailblazers forward Jerami Grant Credit: Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports /
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Detroit Pistons
Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers reacts against the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /

The Detroit Pistons open the New Year with a matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers and former player Jerami Grant, who is having a career year in Rip City, one of many players who morphed into a top 3-point shooter since leaving Detroit.

Portland is currently eighth in the competitive Western Conference, sitting just one game above .500, at 18-17.

This is Detroit’s first look at the Blazers with Jerami Grant, who is having another All-Star caliber season and is a big reason why Portland has out-performed expectations.

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Here are three keys to tonight’s game that can help the Detroit Pistons open 2023 with a victory.

Keys in Detroit Pistons vs. Portland Trail Blazers

1. Defending the three-point line
The Blazers enter today’s matchup as one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NBA. Portland is currently ranked fifth in the league in three-point percentage, and just inside the top ten in made threes per game. Portland’s shooting is bolstered by their backcourt of Anfernee Simons and Damian Lillard, who are shooting 38.2 and 37.2 percent from behind the arc this season, respectively.

However, Portland’s premier marksman this season has been Jerami Grant, who is shooting an impressive 43.9 percent from long range on just under six attempts per game. Outside of the trio, Josh Hart is shooting over 35 percent from three, and Shaedon Sharpe is shooting 34.1 percent.

Forcing the Blazers off the three-point line, and challenging them to convert inside the arc and within the paint, could be a viable option on defense. The Blazers are currently ranked 27th in drives per game, 20th in paint touches, and 19th in points in the paint per game. While Grant, Lillard, and Simons are all dynamic in their own right, crowding them on the perimeter and limiting long-range opportunities would take away a substantial piece of Portland’s offense.