Cleveland Cavaliers: How the team can help Collin Sexton kickstart his career

Cleveland Cavaliers Collin Sexton (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers Collin Sexton (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers are constantly putting a spotlight on Collin Sexton’s struggles by running an offensive system that accentuate his weaknesses. Here’s how they can hep kickstart his career 

"” He doesn’t know how to defend the pick and roll. He doesn’t know how to set up teammates as a point guard”."

According to Joe Vardon of the Athletic, this sentiment was echoed by several veterans on the Cleveland Cavaliers roster earlier this season in regards to Collin Sexton’s ability to immediately contribute to the team.

The narrative that Sexton can’t play has lingered throughout this season as Cleveland media members have continued to point out his weaknesses.

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Chris Fedor of pointed out Sexton’s shooting woes after a game against the Miami Heat last month:

"” Sexton’s woes continued against the Heat, as the Cavs dropped to 8-28. He finished with eight points on 2-of-10 shooting and 1-of-4 from 3-point range”."

However, one can argue that the Cavaliers coaching staff is to blame for his struggles as they’re running an offensive system that accentuates Colin’s weaknesses. Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Larry Drew is currently running a ball movement system.

The ball movement system requires a point guard to spend most of the game in the role of bystander or spot up shooter.

One example of this was early in the first quarter against the Los Angeles Lakers, Cedi Osman walked the basketball to the 3-point line and passed it to Sexton who was standing between the elbow and wing. Sexton immediately gives the ball to Tristan Thompson who was standing just above the free-throw line.

Once this happens, Collin Sexton becomes a bystander/shooter for the rest of the possession as Tristan turns sideways to initiate a dribble handoff with Osman.

Unfortunately, shooting has always been one of Collin Sexton’s biggest weaknesses. According to Draft Express, he has struggled with the consistency of his jump shot at the Nike hoop summit in 2017:

"He ” was a very streaky shooter. Somewhat mechanical release. Hand a bit too on top of the ball. Shoots it off the outside of his hand at times. Can improve his range and comfortability from deep”."

Colin’s streaky shooting has followed him into the NBA as he shot 42.1 percent (making 0.8 3’s in 2 attempts per game) over the first 29 games. However, in the last 15 games, he is shooting 7.9 percent  less from behind the arc (making 0.9 3’s in 2.5 attempts per game) .

Consequently, if Cleveland wants to shut down the narrative that he can’t play, they should limit his time off the ball and focus on accentuating his strengths. According to Draft Express, One of Colin’s strengths is his court vision:

"Sexton “showcased his vision throughout Hoop Summit practices and games. Can deliver the ball from different angles. Passes over the top in pick and roll with his left hand. Good in drive and dish situations”."

Therefore, Collin Sexton should play in an offensive system where he can initiate the pick-and-roll. Starting the pick-and-roll sequence would allow Sexton to study the opposing defense to determine what is the right play on a specific possession.

For example, Sexton can bring the ball up to the 3-point line and call for a screen. Once the pick was set, Colin can pay attention to his defender to determine the course of action. If the defender stayed under the screen, he can either shoot the ball immediately or go over the screen to shoot a mid-range jumper.

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On the other hand, if the defender fought over the screen, he can go over it as well and drive towards the basket to score or pass the basketball depending on whether a double team comes.