Nice of the Thunder role-players to make some threes in this game, after being a combined 0-for-94 in the first two games. If you listen closely, you can hear the home crowd sigh in relief when Jerami Grant hits a three 30 seconds into the game after (obviously, given the above stat) not hitting one yet in the series. This is the point where I was going to make a joke about Westbrook not hitting one yet, but then I looked at the boxscore and he went 4-for-6 from deep? I guess my love for role-players sometimes literally blinds me to what the stars are doing.
So this game turned out okay for the Thunder, no doubt about it, but I still think they’re playing with fire by relying on Grant to be their primary floor-spacer outside of Paul George. If you had said a few years ago, while he was with the 76ers, that Grant was going to be a key outside threat for a playoff team in the West, you would get told to share some of your illicit drugs with other members of the venue where you were sharing your opinion. Even now, couldn’t this roster have been constructed with at least one pure shooter to keep defenses honest? You can play off Grant. You can let him shoot if it means containing Westbrook and George. Was Alex Abrines supposed to be that shooter? He’s gone now, but I hear Kyle Singler is still desiring an NBA return.
It took a while, but it is turning out that they likely made the right call trading Ersan Ilyasova for this guy. I was super critical of the trade, and when it happened it didn’t make any sense at all, but As of right now, Grant is the superior player. Sorry, Illy. I love you, but you can’t really make layups anymore and your only defense comes from taking charges.