Cleveland Cavaliers: 5 players who have had biggest impact in 2019-20

Cleveland Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr. high-fives Cleveland guard Collin Sexton in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers big man Larry Nance Jr. high-fives Cleveland guard Collin Sexton in-game. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton dunks the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

#1: Collin Sexton

Last but absolutely not least, I believe Collin Sexton’s had the biggest impact of players on the 2019-20 Cleveland Cavaliers.

Yes, Sexton’s led the Cavs virtually all season with 20.8 points per game, but it’s more so how he’s gone about his business. Sexton has improved as a finisher near the rim/in the paint, thanks in large part to him coming into the season stronger, and it’s been impressive to see Collin change speeds to keep primary defenders off-balance, leading to buckets inside and in the mid-range area for pull-ups.

Along with that, even after a nightmarish December where he shot just 11.1 percent from deep and only attempted a total of 27 triples through 14 games, Sexton has also still shot 38.0 percent on deep balls. He’s placed in the 75th percentile on spot-ups, per Synergy Sports, and he’s gotten better on pull-up triples, as evidenced by a more than admirable 35.0 percent hit rate, per’s shot tracking data.

Overall, the constant pressure Sexton has put on opposing defenses has often kept the Cavs afloat in games despite inconsistent play from plenty of Cleveland’s other pieces, such as Garland and Osman.

While him averaging 3.0 assists per game to this point hasn’t been great, Sexton has shown growth in that area lately, and in his last 15 games, has posted 4.3 assists per game. That led to the Cavaliers’ offense getting better looks throughout games, and it made Sexton more unpredictable in the scoring sense.

On the defensive end, while Sexton needs to get far better in the team sense in getting through off-ball screens to prevent breakdowns and needs work as a rotator, in particular, he’s made real strides on-ball.

That’s led to him having far better contests on primary on-ball assignments and he’s deterred driving threats much more competently as opposed to his rookie year, where he was to a large degree, a sieve.

Sexton has been active as a stunter, too, and him having 1.0 steals per outing has led to more transition opportunities for him, which, leading into the hiatus, was getting the Cavaliers easy buckets and in turn, has generated momentum.

To me, when you factor in how Sexton has again not missed a game to this point this season, coupled with the game-to-game consistency he’s had as a scorer, and with his growth in other areas, which includes his cutting feel, he’s definitely had the biggest impact among Cavs players in this 2019-20 campaign thus far.

Does he need to continue to improve? Well, yes.

Next. Three areas where Collin Sexton needs to improve next season. dark

That’s not exactly uncommon for 21-year-old guards, though, and Sexton’s well on his way.