by Ray Kuhn
The Philadelphia 76ers are the land of opportunity this season. Yes, it is not showing up in the standings, but since when do we care about that in fantasy basketball.
Well actually, that is a lie. However, the only standings we care about our own. And while the 76ers are certainly struggling on the court, all is not lost from the fantasy perspective.
For the rest of the season, it appears Jerami Grant is going to be a part of that. And to think that he is owned in just 0.8% of all ESPN leagues. That is something that needs to change.
Grant is raw. But the rookie is working hard, and also starting to come into his own. Yes he does have a lot of work to do, but over the past month, Grant has been making strides.
And he also has head coach Brett Brown in his corner.
“Our shooting coach Eugene Burroughs deserves all the credit, and Jerami Grant deserves equal parts of the credit because he’s invested time,” said Coach Brown. “We know when this gym sleeps, we have people here all the time. And for Jerami to come back after a game, at midnight, is not uncommon. He invests time, and he, right now, is my poster child for what hard work can produce.”
When teams have seasons like the 76ers are having, that provides opportunities to young players, and Grant is beginning to take advantage of that.
Grant is talented, and certainly athletic, but the one knock on him was his shooting. For the season the rookie is shooting just 37% from the field, so it is clear he has work to do. However, he is making strides. And since that effort is looked upon favorably for the coaching staff, that means more playing time, and therefore more production out of Grant.
On the season Grant is averaging just 5.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 1.1 blocks per game in about 18 minutes. But as he gets more playing time, the numbers are starting to increase.
In each of his last two games, Grant appeared in 26 minutes scoring 16 and 10 points respectively.Grant also has games of eight and four blocks in his recent past.
If you look at Grant’s averages from his last five games, they still are not great – 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 2.4 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers per game – but the do point to his potential.
Grant’s shooting still needs work, and you would also like to see him do better on the boards, but he is starting to find his groove. I’m not expecting Grant to be a savior this season, but his value is certainly ascending.