Detroit Pistons’ Jerami Grant likely will need coaches to vote him into NBA All-Star Game

Detroit Free Press

Marlowe Alter| Detroit Free Press

Jerami Grant continued his ascendency over the past week, and though fans are noticing, he still faces an uphill climb to be named an All-Star this season.

The Detroit Pistons‘ forward remained 10th among Eastern Conference frontcourt players in 2021 NBA All-Star Game voting with 282,605 fan votes, the league announced Thursday in its second batch of returns.

He matched his season-high Saturday with 32 points in a double-overtime loss against the Lakers, then scored 32 in a dominant performance during Tuesday’s 122-111 convincing win over the Brooklyn Nets, prompting one Pistons fan’s viral celebration video.

At 6-18 against the NBA’s toughest schedule so far, the Pistons have the league’s second-worst record, despite defeating top teams, including the Lakers, Sixers, Suns and Nets.

Reserve All-Star selections, historically, have been unkind to players on teams with sub-.500 records. Fans, players and media select the starters, with fans accounting for 50% of the vote and players and media responsible for 25% each. Head coaches vote for the reserves. With voting ending next Tuesday at 11:59 p.m., his All-Star bid likely relies on coaches voting him into the March 7 game in Atlanta.

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Teammate Mason Plumlee called Grant “an elite scorer,” Tuesday night. He has scored at least 30 points in five of 24 games this season, and has scored at least 20 points in all but four games. He’s 18th in the league in points per game.

Grant, 26, is blossoming after signing a three-year, $60 million contract in November’s free agency. He’s averaging 24.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, three assists and 1.2 blocks, shooting 45.3% overall, 39.5% from 3 and 87.1% from the foul line to sport 59% True Shooting (which includes 3s and free throws — league average is 56.9%).

His two-way performance has stood out this season. Grant, Kevin Durant and Brandon Ingram are the only three players averaging more than 20 points and a block per game, while shooting at least 38% on more than five 3-point attempts per game.

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Despite outcry from multiple superstars, including LeBron James saying he has “zero excitement” to play in the game, the league is set to put on the annual midseason event. Fans can vote daily on NBA.com/Vote, on the NBA’s app or on Twitter using hashtags for #NBAAllStar and the player’s name; e.g. #JeramiGrant.

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The five starters in each conference — two guards, three frontcourt players — will be announced on TNT on Feb. 18. All-Star reserves will be revealed Feb. 23.

Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Joel Embiid are the top three in East frontcourt voting, and Bradley Beal and Kyrie Irving lead the guards.

In the West, James, Nikola Jokic and Kawhi Leonard are the frontcourt leaders, with Stephen Curry and Luka Doncic atop the guards.

James’ 4,369,533 votes is tops among all players. Durant and Curry also have at least four million votes.

Blake Griffin in 2019 was the last Piston to make the All-Star team.

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