The Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant is getting an opportunity to show he’s capable of being more than a viable rebounder and defender.
The former Syracuse forward has shown an improvement in his versatility as a scorer in the first eight games of the season, including Wednesday’s 130-115 loss in which he tallied a career-best 31 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Grant connected on 9-of-20 attempts from the field. He drained two shots from beyond the 3-point line, but what was notable was his perfection from the stripe. Grant made all 11 of his free throws, which is outstanding considering he’s shooting 67% for his career.
The Pistons are 1-7, but Grant is playing his best basketball since entering the league seven years ago.
Grant is averaging career-highs in points (24.0), rebounds (6.0), steals (1.6), free-throw percentage (90.2) and minutes played (36.2) for the Pistons.
He’s in the top 25 scoring leaders in the NBA this season and is averaging almost 26 points over the last five games.
Among the four active NBA players who attended Syracuse, Grant plays a role that is most vital to his team.
Carmelo Anthony is averaging 12.5 points and 3.7 rebounds in six games for the Portland Trail Blazers coming off the bench.
Michael Carter-Williams sat out the Orlando Magic’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday due to a bone bruise on his foot, but he’s totaled 5.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game as a back-up point guard for the team.
Elijah Hughes, the 39th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, also was held out of the Utah Jazz’s loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday. Through three games, the former Orange forward is averaging 2.7 points and 1.0 rebound per contest.