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Jerami Grant’s Efficient Play a Cause For Trail Blazers’ Early Success

You know that the Portland forward has been great. Here’s why.

Detroit Pistons v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

The fruits of Jerami Grant’s labor have been profitable this season, as the veteran forward has taken a major leap in efficiency with the Portland Trail Blazers. Grant has made his bones in the NBA as a 3-and-D athletic marvel, and after blossoming into a volume scorer with the Detroit Pistons, his change of scenery has led to wiser shot selection and connection.

University of Arkansas assistant coach Dom Samangy shared a revelatory shot chart that maps out Grant’s ascension year-over-year, from last season to present.

Grant’s production has been consistent inside, with field goal percentages in the high 50s. However, his efficiency from the midrange has skyrocketed from 30 percent to 42.4 percent.

What most Blazers supporters are elated about is his precision from deep. Last season, he shot a commonplace 35.8 percent from 3-point range. This season, that clip is up to 44.6 percent (43.9 percent pictured above) — good for eighth-best in the NBA.

Watching Grant fire away from distance has been rewarding for Blazers fans. He has developed a Klay Thompson-esque ability to connect on 3-pointers without getting the ball set. His uncanny ability to release immediately after the catch has plagued defenders and opened up driving lanes for the 2020 Olympic gold medalist.

Grant has also been a deadeye from the corners. He is No. 6 in the NBA in corner 3-pointers attempted per game (2.3 attempts) and ranks No. 3 in efficiency at 42.3 percent among those five other players that share his company as league leaders.

A combination of not being gun shy and having a basket-attacking arsenal to be respected has enabled Grant to play his role. He does not disrupt the offense, and is calculated with his volume, putting up a career-high 22.4 points per game on only 15.3 shots attempted per contest. For contrast, he averaged 22.3 points per game two seasons ago for the Pistons, but on 17.3 attempts per game.

This is the first time Grant has ever shot above 40 percent from distance, and there seems to be no sign of him slowing down. He will look to maintain his sound play against a Pacers team that is No. 26 league wide in 3-point percentage conceded at 36.6 percent per game.