clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Sixers at Cavaliers Preview: Can Jerami Grant be somewhat of a Matrix 2.0?

New, comments

Jerami Grant has shown true signs of in-game development over the Sixers' last five games. Playing against Cleveland tonight, Shawn Marion might be the perfect archetype for him to model his craft after.

Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you've completely avoided all types of media over the last two weeks, you've certainly seen Subway's PastraME commercial. I found myself shouting "JeraMI!" as Jerami Grant dunked all over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

It was just the latest poster dunk from the Philadelphia 76ers' rookie over the past four games. He first hit Jeff Withey with a vicious reverse jam in New Orleans last Monday. Next up, Grant victimized Jonas Jerebko on Wednesday.

We knew Grant was a freakishly athletic specimen when the Sixers drafted him in the second round last June. It's the fact these recent dunks have come while he's shown flashes of being an NBA rotation player that's exciting.

Grant is averaging 10.2 points in 24.0 minutes per game over the team's last five contests. Over that span, he's shot 53.1 percent from the field and a ridiculous 61.5 percent from three-point land, including 3-3 shooting from downtown against Atlanta.

At 6-8, 210 pounds, Grant is the definition of a "tweener" in today's NBA. And usually, when a player standing around 6-8 or 6-9 is dubbed a "tweener," it's usually because said player has very limited perimeter skills and will likely have to try and make a career out of being an undersized power forward. But Grant has shown some prowess on the wing of late. He's so long, he only really needs one or two dribbles to get to the rim from the three-point line.

He's leading the Sixers in three-point shooting, too. He's drained 40.4 percent of his threes. It's a small sample size; Grant's only attempted 52 triples on the year. That doesn't mean it's not encouraging.

Grant is showing the signs of developing into the best kind of "tweener," someone who can thrive playing as a small forward and also fit in seamlessly as a small-ball power forward.

And as the Sixers visit the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, Grant's potential to develop into a versatile tool for Brett Brown brings back memories of Shawn Marion on the Phoenix Suns.

The likelihood Grant is able to develop into a multi-time All-Star and a max-contract player is obviously very low. But prime-Marion is a perfect example for Grant to study during his development.

Just 33 games into his NBA career, Grant's future is nothing but uncertain. In a season where Sixers fans must celebrate small victories and the tiniest glimpses of hope for the future, though, Grant's recent play has been extremely entertaining.