Jerian Grant getting a well-deserved chance with Chicago Bulls starters

Dec 13, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jerian Grant (2) dribbles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 13, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Jerian Grant (2) dribbles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Jerian Grant has the tools to fit with the starters. He will get a shot to prove his worth heading into tonight’s game in Orlando

Next: Chris Bosh to the Chicago Bulls?

The Chicago Bulls are a bit of an organizational mess right now. Think of a classroom full first graders. They aren’t in kindergarten anymore, moving from the lowest spot on the elementary school power rankings to the second lowest. They’re practically adults in their own minds. While they feel they are mature, chaos still fills the room. The fresh out of college teacher looks across the room, still trying to figure out why he or she hasn’t mastered this group of uncontrollable youth.

Fred Hoiberg is the teacher in this scenario; can’t you just imagine him serenading a group of six year olds with an acoustic guitar? Hoiberg has a glut of young talent to work with, but hasn’t seemed to figure out how to mix and match them with older pieces to make the roster work. In each crowded classroom of loud-mouthed youngsters, there are the standouts. The bright young mind that has certain abilities to allow them to be a flourishing student. The tricky part is picking them out when the classroom is so dense with others. They have yet to master what makes them special, making it difficult to get noticed while surrounded by others also craving individual attention.

How do the young ones find a way to stand out? Sometimes they just have to be put in the right scenario. Jerian Grant has been on a bit of a roller coaster when it comes to getting playing time. Grant received a DNP in three of the last five games, so it’s fair to argue that he’s not sure what his minutes will look like from night to night.

When I watch Grant play I don’t see him as a guy who can break down a set defense. He’s not quick enough like an Isaiah Thomas to create gaps and space with his speed, and also not strong enough to shoulder his way through a defense like Jimmy Butler. What my eyes tell me is that he does well when someone else creates a little bit of space for him, he has the tools to take advantage of said space. He does well when he puts his head down and goes to the rim and he can hit a jump shot at a decent rate. While his 3-point shooting hasn’t been consistently good, he’s been steadily increasing since when he entered the league. He’s

up 10 percent from last year

according to Basketball-Reference.

Here we see Rondo suck in the defense, so when he whips it out to Grant a Knicks defender is forced to backtrack to him at the top of the key. Moments like this, where the defense is on it’s heels are where you see Grant thrive. He notices the defender bringing all of his momentum back towards the 3-point line and gets the easy blow by.

Like I said before, Grant won’t make much happen against a set defense. Though when he initiates offense early he can make good things happen.

I like to consider this a play in “semi-transition.” It’s not a fast break but the defense isn’t quite set yet. Grant is good in these scenarios and fits the theoretical Hoiball model of pushing the pace. He is able to put his head down and get to the rim before the defense can set up. Again, Grant does well when the defense is moving.

Grant doesn’t posses superior athleticism or skill to create in ISO situations. Here he tries to post up a smaller guard and it ends badly. The defense is set and Grants man is able to body him into an ugly shot.

Considering the lack of direction Coach Hoiberg has going for his point guard spot, I think it’d be a good idea to pair the unproven first grader with the star student, Butler, and the starting lineup. Grant won’t be shouldered with major ball handling duties and we could really seem him accelerate playing off the ball beside people who are going to get the defense moving. His ability to knock down open jumpers will be crucial in this role, though I think an extended role with the starters will leave him with extra space and confidence.

More from Pippen Ain't Easy

Jimmy and Jerian have only played 245 minutes together, though they are outscoring the opponent by 53 points in that time. It’s been reported by K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that Grant will get the starting nod against the Orlando Magic tonight.

Here’s to wishing he meshes well with the starters. Hopefully we see more plays like this one.