More relocation would make Cavs’ Collin Sexton even more dangerous

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton reacts after scoring against the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton reacts after scoring against the Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Collin Sexton has established himself as a dangerous scoring threat for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and more instances of relocation as a shooter throughout games would make him even tougher to account for.

The Cleveland Cavaliers should be pleased with how Collin Sexton has played throughout his second season, as he’s gotten better as a finisher, and while he still does over-dribble some leading to tough looks, he’s played more under control this season.

Additionally, while his 3.0 assists per game aren’t exactly record-breaking, he had been showing growth in that area in terms of finding more dump-offs to bigs and spray-outs to shooters, and more so from February-on.

Post-All-Star break, while Darius Garland missing five outings due to a left groin strain had some to do with it, it was nice to see Sexton have 4.2 assists in that span, per, leading into the NBA’s season suspension due to concerns regarding the novel coronavirus pandemic.

As far as a few quick updates, we’ll hit on those for a quick bit here.

It was reported on Saturday that the league was willing for facilities to open up on Friday in areas where stay-at-home restrictions were loosened, then allowing for individual workouts to be available for players (not teams), per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski then noted how the league would work with teams to accommodate for areas where restrictions weren’t loosened, but as of Monday, practice facilities for individual workouts won’t be available for some at that time.

Per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the league is targeting practice facilities to not be opened “earlier than May 8,” and from there, Charania had more to add as far as workouts from the league.

Here was more from the league on how they’ll need to manage workouts, as was h/t Charania, who also noted that the league has told each team to “assign one senior executive to this position — Facility Hygiene Officer.” 

Wojnarowski would touch on how some NBA teams are still more open to re-opening of facilities at this time to keep players more in-shape in a safe environment more so than potentially a less safe environment. The Atlanta Hawks delayed their own re-opening, though, which played right into the league-wide delay, as Woj hit on. Moreover, it’s still uncertain, as to whether or not the 2019-20 NBA season will eventually play out, at least to some capacity.

Anyhow, swinging back to Sexton’s play for the Cavs, he was a player that was really taking it to another level, as post-All-Star break, he had been putting up 25.5 points per contest.

Garland’s injury likely played into that to an extent, but Sexton has led the Wine and Gold in scoring with 20.8 points per game virtually all year to this point, and he has improved as a cutter this season. That’s been great to see, with him mostly getting better at timing up cuts going to the basket along the baseline or near the paint.

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What I would like to see more of from Sexton, feasibly next season, is him utilizing relocation as a shooter, particularly from the perimeter.

That generally is related to Sexton, in this case, passing the ball to, say, Kevin Love, or Larry Nance Jr.,  who is a really good passing big and plays off Sexton well, and then Sexton sets up a cut, and he would realistically relocate back behind the three-point line. Or in terms of inside the arc, he could perhaps make a quick cut to a sweet spot for him in the mid-range area.

Sexton has hit 38.0 percent of his three-point attempts this season, including a 42.1 percent hit rate on catch-and-shoot triple attempts, per’s shot tracking data. Those have primarily come right from spot-ups and not him setting himself up behind the line from movement, though.

Granted, Sexton has placed in the 65th percentile in off-screen scoring situations in 2019-20, according to Synergy Sports. That’s only been on a 3.7 percent frequency, but it is encouraging.

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Considering how Sexton has proven to be an improved scorer in terms of manipulating pick-and-roll matchups, especially with him being able to change speeds, I’d love to see Sexton set up his primary defenders more and use relocation to get quality catch-and-shoot looks more often throughout games.

He’s gotten more comfortable working off the ball this season, but in too many instances, he doesn’t set himself up for catch-and-shoots after giving the ball up to capable secondary playmakers, and simply looks to his pull-up game before looking for those quicker deep looks.

With how consistent Sexton has become as a perimeter shooter, and with the constant threat of his speed in getting to the lane and to his pull-up game, I firmly believe Sexton would be even more dangerous if he just used relocation more in games going forward.

Those subtle things I believe he’ll pick up more in coming years, though, and with Sexton being so willing to learn, I’d imagine assistant coach Lindsay Gottlieb and head coach J.B. Bickerstaff will mention that some more. That could perhaps be in these individual player workouts, feasibly starting back up in coming weeks.

I’d also think Darius Garland and Dylan Windler, though he has not appeared yet for Cleveland due to a stress reaction in his left leg, could definitely help Sexton in terms of timing of relocation as a shooter. You’ll see that Garland in games more so than Sexton, and Windler is also a player that before the season, I thought would play a key relocating role for Cleveland.

It is abundantly clear that Sexton is an ever-dangerous scorer already for the Cleveland Cavaliers, but something that would make him even more threatening to opposing defenses is if he utilizes relocation more than he’s shown.

Grading Collin Sexton's 2019-20 season thus far. dark. Next

That would lead to him getting more easy assisted looks throughout games that he is more than capable of burying with his feet set.