Cleveland Cavaliers: Controlled offensive aggression is key on perimeter

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Cleveland Cavaliers

Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images

I’m not entirely sure what to expect from the Cleveland Cavaliers game-to-game at this point, and that’s understandable, as they are playing a lot of young players that aren’t always sure what to do or where to be on the floor. One thing is for certain, though: Cleveland is better off if they are executing via controlled offensive aggression from their backcourt.

Head coach Larry Drew is doing an admirable job for the Cleveland Cavaliers, considering their situation with having to play a number of younger players big minutes, especially in crunch time situations in games. The Cavaliers are going to make a lot of mistakes, and they definitely have, but those mistakes are crucial to the development of players such as Collin Sexton, Cedi Osman, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Andrew Harrison.

At this point, the Cavaliers cannot expect to win many games this year, and I won’t go on that tangent, as it’s a broken record at this point. Cleveland is initiating their rebuild starting now, and that’s good; the younger guys, particularly in the backcourt, are gaining valuable experience, which is helping the ball club.

Last night, though, the Cavs got an impressive win over the Philadelphia 76ers on the road, which was likely something nobody saw coming. What has jumped out to me in recent games, and realistically since Drew has taken over for the Cavs post-Tyronn Lue firing, has been that Cleveland is at their best when their young players are decisive and don’t appear as if they are simply not trying to make a mistake.

The obvious is the case with Sexton, who is averaging 18.3 points on 47.7 percent shooting in 33.4 minutes per game in seven games as a starter with George Hill sidelined. He’s been getting a considerable number of easy shots for himself, both in transition after receiving outlet passes and in settled situations via pick-and-roll mismatches and occasionally from three-point spot-ups.

Playing with the starting unit, and in particular, a great screener in Tristan Thompson, and Cleveland’s best playmaker, Cedi Osman, has allowed Sexton to get better spacing to do what he does best: leave defenders in the dust.

Joel Embiid is a stud on both ends of the floor, but Sexton knows he can’t hang with him in space. Sexton took his time, lulled Embiid into thinking he would shoot on the perimeter, and then turned on the jets. More of this please, Young Bull.

Sexton looks as though he is gaining more and more confidence each time he steps on the floor, and you can tell he’s teammates and Drew are gaining more confidence in him, too. With how hard Sexton plays on every possession, good things will continue to happen for the Cavaliers.

Cedi Osman and Rodney Hood are also at their best when they take their time in surveying the opposing defense and attack accordingly.

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