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In contrast to earlier classical studies that analyze the surface Bloch modes supported by metallic gratings composed of slits as collective surface-plasmon-polaritons (SPPs) resonances (or poles) of the entire periodic problem, we study the normalized rate of SPPs that are locally launched on every individual ridge of metallic lamellar gratings. With this “microscopic” description at the unit-cell level, we further explain how these individual SPPs constructively interfere to build up the classical collective resonances. The approach, which combines analytical treatments and fully-vectorial computations, shines new light on an important and classical phenomenon of grating diffraction.