In the modern NBA, the Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant matches building a small-ball center. He is a proficient pick-and-roll roller. It can easily stretch the ground. He has the athleticism and length to be a reliable defender at post and along the perimeter as well.
Many NBA teams use players who play primarily forward and slide them down the center for a range of small balls. The Phoenix Suns faced Jae Crowder and Torry Craig on the Five in their 2021 playoff run. During the 2019-20 season, the Houston Rockets used PJ Tucker, who sits at 6-5, as a center. start throughout the season and playoffs.
Like Jerami Grant, these players are above average three-point shooters and strong defenders.
Detroit Pistons: Jerami Grant plays center in small ball lineups
Replacing Grant as a smallball center would help Detroit maximize a combination of pace and shooting. With the 27-year-old at center, Detroit could use Trey Lyles, Saddiq Bey or Isaiah Livers as the team’s power forward. All three are strong three-point shooters who are big enough to play all four in today’s NBA.
This potential range of small balls might look something similar to:
- Killian Hayes
- Frank jackson
- Cade Cunningham
- Saddiq Bey
- Jerami grant
Hamidou Diallo, Lyles and Livers are also potential candidates for the training.
As with other teams that use a strong striker in a central position, there are limits to small ball lineups. Frankly, it will be next to impossible for most teams to have a striker who effectively plays long minutes down center.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Golden State Warriors are two of the few teams that can play their five-a-side forwards.
For the Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo could rightfully be a full-time center. The Greek Freak is 6-11 tall and weighs 242 pounds. Antetokounmpo is built to play at center, but he’s so athletic that he can dominate as a power forward.
Draymond Green and the Warriors are another story. Green is at 6-6. The former defensive player of the year has a physical playstyle and defensive intelligence that allows him to play virtually any position in the NBA. Some of the Warriors’ best lineups over the past decade have seen Green as the only great man on the court.
Grant is not Antetokounmpo and he is not Green. Grant is unable to spend long minutes in the center. Opposing teams, especially those that use large lineups, could quickly punish and exhaust the 27-year-old by using size to their advantage.
Grant can’t play center as a primary position, but in short bursts across a small-ball range, the Detroit Pistons might have an effective change of pace range to turn to throughout a game.
Ultimately, the majority of the center minutes will belong to Isaiah Stewart and Kelly Olynyk, but when the team needs a change of pace or just need an extra player to fill a few cross minutes, Grant would be an option. efficient small ball to turn to.