It was in the wee hours of the night on Thursday evening in the Nuggets locker room and the only people remaining were Jerami Grant, Will Barton III, and members of Denver media. As Grant was getting ready to talk about his big game, it was pointed out to him that the jacket he was putting on was indeed, inside out.
Grant was struggling and could not figure out what was wrong until it was pointed out to him. Barton III yelled from the background, “That’s what happens when you score 20. You can do anything and get away with it.”
It’s safe to say Grant is settling in nicely with his new team and the only thing he did wrong on Thursday night was struggling to put a jacket on. On the court? Grant was the Nuggets MVP with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, while going an almost perfect 5-of-6 from three-point range.
It was not just scoring as Grant also hauled in five rebounds and forced two steals while playing a massive role in helping Denver get back into the win column. On the season, Grant is averaging 9.7 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, while also shooting an extremely efficient 39.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Grant has finally started to find his groove with the Nuggets and has shot 11-of-16 from three in Denver’s last three games. Grant has made a three in 13 of the Nuggets last 15 games, which is massive for a Nuggets team that has struggled from distance almost all season.
“Feels good. Put a lot of work in. Starting to make a couple of shots,” Grant said following the Portland victory. “Just getting me open shots. Teammates creating and making it easy for me.”
His teammates certainly deserve some of the praise, but a lot should be directed in the way of Grant. He did not have the best start to the season, but has quickly bounced back and is becoming a positive contributor for the Nuggets on a nightly basis.
“I think overall it has been solid,” Michael Malone said on Grant’s transition with the Nuggets. “There has been some inconsistencies and that is not on Jerami. That is on that second unit as a whole. You can only do so much as an individual player when you are out there with a group.”
The nice thing about Grant is his ability to play and fit alongside literally anyone on the Nuggets roster. If you need energy with the second unit, Grant can do that. If you need a little more energy with the starting five, Grant can do that as well.
A player that Grant singled out after the game was backup point guard Monte Morris. Grant mentioned how Morris is one of the players that has made his transition easier, along with Nikola Jokic and Barton III.
Jerami Grant 3-pointer off a Monte Morris assist pic.twitter.com/gupJOp19x8— Joel Rush (@JoelRushNBA) December 9, 2019
“I think Monte (Morris) is making it easy for me. Jok (Nikola Jokic) when I’m on the court with him, Will (Barton III). Definitely creating shots for me.”
One thing that Grant has done well for most of the season is shooting the three-ball, but getting to the rim is what he is known for best. That is something Malone wants to see more from Grant moving forward.
“The one thing I’ll always say when speaking about Jerami, great kid, hard worker, capable three-point shooter, but he is at his best when he is running, he’s screening and rolling and getting on the rim and when he does have the ball, not just settling for jump shots, but looking to attack and get to the basket.”
Dunks like that can spark an offense and Grant has constantly provided them all season. Grant’s explosiveness is undeniable and if he continues shooting the way he has been, the Nuggets offense could quickly get back to being one of the best groups in the NBA.
Now, tonight's matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder will be a special one for Grant as he will be facing his former team. Grant spent three seasons in Oklahoma City where he had a ton of regular season and playoff success.
Grant’s career really took off with the Thunder, but after a number of salary dump moves this offseason, the Nuggets were able to snatch him from Oklahoma City. It may feel like Saturday will be a bit if a “revenge” game for Grant, but plans on treating it like any other night.
“Ready to play, just like every other game.”