Jerami Grant’s perimeter defense
When the Los Angeles Lakers look after rim protection with Anthony Davis coming back, some of the weaknesses shift to the defense out on the perimeter.
The purple and gold lack a number of players who are capable of making opposing players work for their shot around the 3-point line, they have the likes of Avery Bradley and LeBron James who are willing to play team defense when it suits them but they don’t truly have a tone-setter on that end of the floor when the time calls for it.
Jerami Grant is most certainly someone who moves the needle and whose overall effort forces players out on the wings to step their defensive game up when he is on the floor.
When Stanley Johnson signed a 10-day contract with the purple and gold, the Lakers perimeter D got significantly better.
Not because Johnson is elite on that end, but more so his ability to show up and put forward effort raised the effort of those on the floor around him.
Grant is a significantly better defender in all aspects than Johnson.
Grant has shown an ability to lock down opposing teams’ best defenders on the perimeter, not just on a regular-season basis, but even when it comes time to it when it comes down to a deep playoff run.
During the Denver Nuggets playoff run in 2019-20, Grant showed an ability and willingness to guard both LeBron James and Anthony Davis. While his effort were in vain as the purple and gold marched onto the NBA title against the Miami Heat, it left a notable mark on basketball aficionados that Grant was a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the floor.
Grant would come into the Los Angeles Lakers and automatically become the team’s best perimeter defender.
With the NBA slowly becoming a forward-dominated game, having a player of Grant’s caliber on defense allows for the purple and gold to be more efficient not just on defense but allows them to convert solid defense into impactful offense.
Grant as a combo forward has averaged 1.1 blocks per game for his career, these are tangible stats that fans of the purple and gold can feed on and use in times of struggle knowing that they have additional help on the perimeter with Jerami Grant.