Eastern Notes: Grant, Heat, Jackson, Oladipo, Nunn

Hoops Rumors

Pistons forward Jerami Grant isn’t unfamiliar with lottery finishes, but he feels his current situation is much different from his team’s situation in Philadelphia earlier in his career, writes Omari Sankofa II of the Detroit Free Press.

Grant spent just over two seasons with the Sixers from 2014-17, teams that were mostly known for focusing on the future and rebuilding.

“Nah, it’s not the same,” Grant said. “It’s a lot different. It’s not a rebuild, as (general manager) Troy (Weaver) always says. It’s not three or four years into the future. We’re looking forward to doing something big next year. So no, it doesn’t have the same feeling as there.”

The Pistons currently own the league’s third-worst record at 18-43, putting them last in the East. For his part, Grant has averaged 22.6 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 52 games this season, shooting 43% from the floor and 35% from three-point range.

Here are some other notes from the Eastern Conference:

  • The Heat could be stumbling toward the play-in tournament barring a final late-season push, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes in his latest “Ask Ira” mailbag. Miami has won four of its last five games, but the team still holds just the seventh-best record in the Eastern Conference at 32-29. The Heat have upcoming games against the Bulls on Monday, Spurs on Wednesday and Cavaliers on Saturday.
  • James L. Edwards III of The Athletic examines how the Pistons turned two-way player Frank Jackson into a promising sharpshooter. Jackson is averaging 8.4 points per game on 41% from deep — mostly playing off the bench this season. “Being able to play consistently, every time I step on the court I feel I get a little better,” Jackson said. “It’s nice to have teammates who make the nice reads and make the right play. This is my fourth year in the league. I know what it takes to stay ready.”
  • Heat guard Victor Oladipo could have to beat out Kendrick Nunn for playing time should he return this season, Winderman examines in another “Ask Ira” mailbag. Nunn has stepped up his play since re-entering the team’s rotation, averaging 14 points per game on 47% shooting this season.

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