Cavs: 3 potential pick-and-roll duos to look out for next season

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers bigs Kevin Love and Andre Drummond celebrate after a made basket. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Potential pick-and-roll duo #2: Darius Garland and Andre Drummond

As it stands right now, it seems as if the Cavs will roll with the Collin SextonDarius Garland backcourt for another season. So far, the pairing of Garland and Sexton has had its ups and downs and a small backcourt COULD work but, the Cavs are going to have to make the right moves for the duo to reach its full potential.

The biggest question mark between the two has been Garland and he is going to need to make strides in his game if this team wants to become competitive.

Garland was a surprise pick from the Cavaliers in last year’s NBA Draft and during his rookie season, it has been very up and down. His underwhelming play this season can be seen as expected since he was coming off a torn meniscus injury and was not eased back into basketball.

The point guard position is the hardest position to learn and adding to that fact, Garland playing 30.9 minutes per game thus far heading into the NBA’s season suspension on average has not helped, either. Despite his struggles, Garland has shown great passing abilities, some nice handling prowess and a beautiful shooting stroke at times.

Related Story. Early January was Darius Garland's best stretch of season thus far. light

To dive deeper into his abilities as a point guard, looking at his last 19 games, Garland has been averaging 4.9 assists per game, according to Basketball Reference.

Also, during that stretch, he had less than four assists in just four out of those 19 games. Being the ball-handler in the pick-and-roll is something that Garland has done quite often during this season and according to Synergy, it is his most frequent play type.

Earlier this season, during media availability, he essentially said how he was getting more comfortable and how the pick-and-roll game was becoming more clear, as transcribed by 92.3 The Fan’s James Rapien.

"“The game is definitely slowing down for me,” he said. “Pick-and-roll reads are getting easier. A lot of people are starting to go over on screens now, so the decision is starting to be a lot easier.”"

Garland’s improvements in his pick-and-roll game will be necessary for him to find success in this league and lucky for him, the Cavs were able to bring in an All-Star-level big man in Andre Drummond near the 2020 trade deadline.

Drummond was a surprise get for the Cavaliers from the Detroit Pistons, and considering the price it took to get him in just the expiring John Henson and Brandon Knight and a future second-round pick, it seemed like a great pick-up to me.

At just 26 years old, Drummond is just entering his prime and will be able to be a part of the Cavs’ future, depending on if he is eventually given an extension or not and would be interested in that sort of thing seemingly down the road. In the eight games that he has played with the Cavs so far, he is averaging 17.5 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, per Basketball Reference.

Drummond has shown much-improved shooting abilities with the Cavs in his short stint here but the biggest improvement has been his pick-and-roll game.

Looking at the link here, even though Drummond’s pick-and-roll frequency has essentially been cut in half, as displayed by Synergy, the improvements statistically are still worth noting. The biggest eye-openers from the statistics shown are the substantial increases in And-1 frequency and score frequency.

This duo could become a great pick-and-roll duo as they continue to improve their chemistry and as Garland improves on his overall game.

In a Cavaliers-Indiana Pacers game on February 29, we saw many pick-and-rolls orchestrated by Garland and Drummond. Despite the success rate not being that high in that particular game, the number of pick-and-rolls by the two was intriguing and with improved chemistry between the two, we could see some of those failed PnRs turned into successful ones.

Thirdly, a potential PnR duo to look out for features two bench pieces for Cleveland that make winning plays.