It’s reasonable to be optimistic about Cavs’ shooting moving forward

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. (left) and Cleveland guard Darius Garland. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Kevin Porter Jr. (left) and Cleveland guard Darius Garland. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images) /

It’s reasonable to be optimistic about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ shooting moving forward, as the group had been getting going more leading up to the NBA’s season suspension.

At first glance, and this is a fair take, one would assume that the Cleveland Cavaliers have not been a good shooting team in the 2019-20 season, as Cleveland is just 22nd in the league in effective field goal shooting rate, according to

The Cavs are only tied for 20th in the Association in three-pointers made per outing, too, at this current time with the NBA season on hiatus until further notice due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Also, in regards to recent reported suggestions/potential financial fallout related to a season cancellation, you can view those here and also here, per KJG’s Billy Beebe.

More from King James Gospel

Again, believing the Cavs aren’t a particularly effective shooting team is not a scorching hot take, though, but to me, it’s very reasonable to be optimistic about Cleveland’s shooting moving forward.

While it’s anything but a huge sample size with it being only 11 games, the Cavaliers were sixth in assist rate and 10th in effective field goal shooting post-All-Star break, in which J.B. Bickerstaff took over the head coaching reigns, and Cleveland was 10th in three-point shooting hit rate in that span, as noted by

Cleveland was 5-6 in that stretch, which while that’s far from elite, it was respectable. Anyway, projecting forward, I’m optimistic that the Cavaliers’ shooting should be in good shape.

Of course, as far as current players, Kevin Love is realistically the Wine and Gold’s best overall shooter, factoring in touch in the mid-range area (via mid-post touches) and especially from the perimeter, where Love has hit 37.4 percent of his three-point attempts, a bit higher mark than his career average of 37.0 percent.

Granted, could Love feasibly be traded by the Cavs at some point in the near future, which is always seemingly a possibility?

That’s absolutely a scenario that could play out, but Cleveland could look to keep Love around, anyhow, considering his ability to space the floor with the best of them, along with his secondary playmaking feel and elite defensive rebounding prowess.

Related Story. 3 reasons the Cavs should keep Kevin Love in coming years. light

Either way, though, with the progression Collin Sexton has shown throughout the 2019-20 season, and even more so under Bickerstaff, also as a playmaker with 4.3 assists per game in his last 15, that’s a huge positive for Cleveland. In addition, Darius Garland flashing his range, along with Kevin Porter Jr. at times, to go with Cedi Osman‘s strides as a catch-and-shoot player, it’s again, reasonable to be optimistic about the Cavs’ shooting in coming years.

Sexton, who had been putting up 25.5 points per game post-All-Star, has improved at all three levels as a scorer this year, and he, Garland and KPJ have all at least shot 39.2 percent on catch-and-shoot triples in 2019-20, according to’s shot tracking data.

Plus, Osman has hit 38.3 percent from three-point land thus far this season, and Larry Nance Jr. is on pace for a career year in terms of three-point shooting volume and hit rate, at 35.2 percent. As KJG’s Robbie DiPaola detailed, Dylan Windler, who while he hasn’t played this season due to a stress reaction in his left leg, could be a sharpshooter for the Cavs, and should bolster their bench production next season if he’s healthier, too.

Also, factoring in players the Cavs could feasibly select in the 2020 NBA Draft, in USC big Onyeka Okongwu, who is a polished low-post player and has flashed face-up potential, along with Dayton big man Obi Toppin, who like Okongwu is a terrific athlete but has shown pick-and-pop potential, Cleveland land another high-efficiency big to their rotation for next season.

Toppin, who posted 2.2 assists per game this season for the Flyers, also could be a solid secondary playmaker for the Cleveland Cavaliers to go with being an impact roller/hand-off man.

More. ESPN's Jimmy Dykes endorsing Obi Toppin shows he'd be a nice pick in 2020 NBA Draft. light

Or if Cleveland went with a prospect such as LaMelo Ball in the upcoming draft, previously of the NBL’s Illawarra Hawks, though he only shot 37.7 percent this season, he has shown the potential for big-time range off-the-bounce. He also projects as a great playmaker who could over time have notable positional versatility at 6-foot-8.

Or, though he needs to keep making strides as far as consistency, Deni Avdija of the I-BSL’s Maccabi FOX Tel Aviv could be a similar spot-up man/cutter to Cedi Osman in coming years, but with a much, much higher defensive ceiling (but Cedi still would be a nice bench piece).

Anyhow, while Garland has been somewhat underwhelming as a deep shooter at a 35.5 percent clip overall, and his effective field goal shooting clip has only been 47.8 percent, him having a pull-up effective field goal shooting rate of 44.6 percent is encouraging. I’d expect Garland’s shooting to be more efficient in coming years with more experience, too.

Perhaps Sexton could help Garland in that realm as a pick-and-roll scorer, as well, along with Porter.

Next. Larry Nance Jr. was establishing himself as Cavs' third-best player. dark

Again, with key young pieces gaining more experience and with more reps in key stretches throughout games, with the right fit in Bickerstaff at the helm, it’s reasonable to be optimistic about the Cavs’ shooting moving forward.