Darius Garland’s breakout season, and how it impacts the Cavs’ future

Darius Garland (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Darius Garland (Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Darius Garland
Darius Garland (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

Darius Garland’s breakout season, and how it impacts the Cleveland Cavaliers’ future. 

The Cleveland Cavaliers were 7-4 when Collin Sexton suffered a season-ending meniscus tear on November 7th against the New York Knicks. They were one of the biggest surprises of the NBA season, but Sexton’s injury had the potential to derail their strong start, and at first, it looked like that’s where they were heading.

The Cavs lost six of their first eight games without Sexton, capped off by a five-game losing streak where their new full-time offensive initiator, Darius Garland, shot just 39 percent from the floor and 25 percent from three.

But just as it has for so many other teams and players, a matchup with the Orlando Magic turned everything around. The Cavs have won six of their last eight games since that losing streak and look like a real threat to steal a playoff bid on the back of Garland’s improved play.

Garland now looks the part of a true primary offensive creator for the Cavs, posting averages of 21 points and nine assists on 52/51/95 shooting splits (FG/3P/FT) over that most recent eight-game stretch.

Garland’s play over the past couple of weeks shows a heightened ceiling for a player that has the potential to be one of the most potent offensive weapons in the NBA.