Daily Nugget: How Jerami Grant has stepped up for Denver

by Eric Spyropoulos
Staff Writer
@EricSpyrosNBA

When the Denver Nuggets traded for Jerami Grant back in July 2019, the excitement surrounding his on-and-off court fit swirled throughout the fanbase and the team’s front office. After all, Grant is a 25-year-old, uber-athletic forward that was coming off a career year for the Oklahoma City Thunder in which he averaged 13.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game while shooting 39.2 percent from beyond the arc.

When Grant struggled to begin the season, the vision of his fit with the Nuggets was in question a little bit. The former second-round pick shot 22.2 percent from deep in October as he adjusted to a smaller role off the bench. However, in the months since that gradual start, Grant has continued to insert himself on both ends of the floor.

Thrusted into 14 starts over the past month or so as a result of an injury to Paul Millsap, Grant has benefitted from a larger role, more playing time and playing off of other starters, especially Nikola Jokić. The results have been what many expected when the trade was first announced last summer, as Grant has averaged 15.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game on 48.6 percent shooting from the field, including 42.6 percent from downtown.

Grant’s 3-point shooting has been key for Denver’s offense in recent weeks, as he has shot 44.4 percent from beyond the arc over the past 10 games, which includes a career-best six 3-pointers against the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.

During this recent stretch, the former Syracuse Orange forward has played 32.2 minutes per game and has averaged at least one steal and block per game, showcasing his versatility on the defensive end. Given Denver’s reliance on depth, Grant will continue to be a key piece of the puzzle down the stretch of the regular season and in the playoffs, where he may be able to form an interesting small-ball lineup alongside Millsap when the team is back to full strength.

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