Cleveland Cavaliers: 3 players that have something to prove next season

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland looks on. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland looks on. (Photo by Jevone Moore/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Darius Garland

Lastly, the other Cavs player that first comes to mind as having something to prove next season for me is Garland.

It’s been understandable for him to have had his growing pains, especially when considering he only played five games in his collegiate career at Vanderbilt and he likely needs a full offseason to really improve his explosiveness and/or get more of that back, to go with build more strength.

The Garland-Sexton pairing has taken their lumps, too, as has been far from shocking.

In Garland’s case, he’s been a bit disappointing with 12.3 points per game, but we’ve seen plenty of flashes from him in terms of shooting off-the-bounce, and it is a plus that earlier this season pre-hiatus that he joined Sexton as becoming only the second Cavs rookie to hit the 100-three-pointers milestone.

DG has shot a fairly average 35.5 percent on three-point looks thus far in 2019-20, but he has hit 39.2 percent on catch-and-shoot triples, per’s shot tracking data, and I’ve been encouraging by his playmaking instincts.

Leading into him missing those aforementioned Cleveland Cavaliers’ last five games leading up to the hiatus due to a left groin strain, Garland was operating at a nice pace and keeping his turnovers to a minimum, demonstrating growth. In his last 10 games active, Garland averaged 4.9 assists (up from his season average of 3.9) per outing to just 1.8 turnovers (down from his season average of 2.6).

Next season, though, I want to see Garland be more assertive as a scorer, especially in taking more deep shots, and hopefully, he can gain more explosiveness/strength to help him finish in the paint and/or get more separation. The handle is there.

Can Garland become a more competent on-ball defender, though, which ties into getting stronger/more able to mirror opposing guards? That’s another big question that comes to mind.

dark. Next. Grading Darius Garland's 2019-20 season thus far

The Cavaliers need to give Garland plenty of time for his development, and that’s clear, as he’s just 20 years old, but the youngster does absolutely have plenty to prove next season.