Jerami Grant’s early performances with Detroit Pistons make him an All-Star candidate
The Pistons celebrated their first road win of the season on Saturday with a 120-100 win over the Miami Heat in their most complete start to the season. They had 34 assists on 46 field goals and shot 51% off the field.
Although the Heat was understaffed due to multiple injuries and players in COVID logs, the Pistons played a superior second half and held for the win.
Here are some takeaways from the Pistons victory that improved them to 3-9.
►The whole bag: Jerami Grant showed the entire repertoire at both ends of the court. He had outstanding offensive games and scored his eleventh game in a row with at least 20 points, but also showed on the defensive that he can be a game changer with four blocks. He’s showing more and more that he’s worth more than the $ 60 million he received as a freelance agency, and if he keeps moving he could be on the verge of hitting all-star status in the Eastern Conference. Grant also showed his overtaking ability with six assists in the season. The first unit seemed more connected with Blake Griffin and Grant handing out the ball, part of the Pistons’ 34 assists.
► Thinning the rotation: Pistons coach Dwane Casey had played with an expanded banking group but reduced that list to 10, with Derrick Rose playing mostly with the second unit of Josh Jackson, Saddiq Bey, Sekou Doumbouya and Isaiah Stewart. This grouping played with a lot of energy, combining 52 of the 120 points, including 23 points from Rose. In particular, Svi Mykhailiuk and Jahlil Okafor, who had been important parts of the reserve unit, only played in the last minutes of the game. That’s not to say Casey locked rotation, but he continues to move players in and out of the second group.
►Brooming the Rose: After Missing the last two games due to left knee pain, Rose came back with a thrust, picking up the second session with his speed and swiftness, and bringing it into transition. He was an efficient 8-of-12 off the field and had three 3-pointers that showed more of the variety in his game. The banking group is better with Rose at the helm, and in games Rose misses, Saben Lee can move forward in that role.
►Jackson’s turn: Josh Jackson kept trying to find his rhythm after returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for two games. In the six games before the injury, Jackson averaged 15.5 points and 4.5 rebounds. In the three games since then, that production had dropped to six points and 1.7 rebounds. Additionally, his shooting has dropped to 6 out of 24 field goals in the three games after starting 49% off the field. It will be some time before he is back in a good groove and his 3 of 12 field goals on Saturday and 2 of 9 on 3 pointers are just one more step to get his shot going again.
►Rookie Energy: Rookie Isaiah Stewart has earned many comparisons for his constant activity on the pitch, but Casey came up with a new Saturday and called him a Tasmanian Devil. Given Stewart’s energy on the pitch, stepping on the offensive glass and finding rebounds, this is an apt comparison. In 19 minutes, Stewart hit a season high of 10 points with 11 rebounds for his first career double double before the foul. He played well, with some energetic rebounds, and went 4-of-6 off the field, dividing the playing time at the backup center behind Mason Plumlee.