More of 2019-20 could further aid Cavs’ Collin Sexton’s passing progress

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton looks to pass. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton looks to pass. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

It’s still uncertain if we’ll see more Cleveland Cavaliers game action in 2019-20, but more of that could help Collin Sexton’s passing progression.

At this point, the 2019-20 NBA season is reportedly likely to play out in some capacity at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World. Whether or not non-playoff teams such as the Cleveland Cavaliers will be participating, though, is up in the air.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on ESPN’s Get Up on Monday said that there’s a “really good chance” that the league just goes right to a 16-team playoff format upon a resumption this summer, as h/t Forbes‘ Chris Grenham. Grenham did note how Windhorst alluded to how that scenario would have to pass an owner’s vote, though.

Granted, per a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Tuesday, non-playoff teams such as the Cavs could still have more 2019-20 game action. Wojnarowski said how the league and the NBPA “have discussed a model of 30 teams returning to reach a target goal of 72 regular-season games,” among other potential scenarios that were polled in an NBA general manager survey.

Those included a “pool play option featuring somewhere between the 16 current playoff teams and the full body of 30 NBA teams,” as Wojnarowski stated.

The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported on Tuesday that a World Cup-type style with group stages could be an option, too. It is uncertain how a likely league resumption will play out, though, but if the Cavs do end up playing more games this season, such as perhaps getting to that 72-game threshold Woj hit on, that’d enable Collin Sexton to further develop as a passer heading into his third season.

On the year, Sexton has led the Cleveland Cavaliers in scoring virtually all year with 20.8 points per game, and the way he’s improved as a finisher and learned to change speeds in the pick-and-roll scoring sense has been encouraging.

Sexton hitting 38.0 percent of his three-point attempts, including 44.2 percent in his last 15 games pre-novel coronavirus-induced hiatus, per, was even more of a stamp on his approval as a legitimate deep shooting prospects going forward.

Along with that deep shooting being a positive, with him playing mostly the 2 this season for Cleveland, Sexton shown growth as a cutter, and that’s led to more deliveries throughout the year from Darius Garland, Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr.

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Post-All-Star break and/or from late January on, really, Sexton also was displaying improved feel as a passer, which was nice to see, and hopefully that trend continues moving forward, and potentially more this season.

More Cleveland Cavaliers games in 2019-20 would allow for Sexton to keep improving as a passer and gain more momentum heading into his third year.

In the Cavs’ 11 games post-All-Star break leading into the hiatus, Sexton had 4.2 assists per game, which was an increase over his season average of 3.0 helpers per contest. Sure, Garland missing Cleveland’s last five games pre-hiatus due to a left groin strain played into that, but Sexton even before that point was demonstrating more willingness as a passer.

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Sexton is never going to be mistaken for a pass-first guard, and we all are well-aware of that.

That’s fine, though, especially when you factor in how dynamic Sexton has proven to be and how he’s been more efficient as a scorer in his second season thus far, as he improved his true shooting rate from 52.0 percent in 2018-19 to 56.0 percent in 2019-20.

Moreover, if the Cavs again have more games in 2019-20, though, it’d allow for Sexton to have more opportunities for passing growth.

From February, really, onward leading into the hiatus, Sexton was showing better recognition in hitting spray-outs to shooters such as Love, Cedi Osman, Garland and Kevin Porter Jr.

Plus, he was seeing lobs more to pieces such as trade deadline acquisition Andre Drummond and Larry Nance Jr., and with more games, Sexton would have additional opportunities to grow as a playmaker.

While Sexton is not likely a full-time primary playmaking type of guard, he could very well be able to fill that primary playmaking role occasionally throughout games, and with his catch-and-shoot viability, he could again play the 2 more anyway in different lineups alongside Porter and/or Dylan Windler next season. That’d be further down the road involving Windler, though, who has not appeared with the Cavs yet due to complications involving a stress reaction in his left leg.

At any rate, while it is unclear if we’ll see more 2019-20 game action for Cleveland, if there is, Sexton could have more reps to grow as a passer, which is hopefully an area he can continue to improve in moving forward.

Coupled with that in Sexton’s case, more 2019-20 games for the Cavs would seemingly lead to more pick-and-roll reps for Garland, perhaps with both being staggered a fair amount, and in that sense, I’d like to see Garland show more assertiveness as a scorer.

Cedi Osman, Dylan Windler as occasional rollers next season could be viable. dark. Next

We’ll see as far if the Cavs 2019-20 campaign is ultimately over, though, and as the aforementioned Wojnarowski noted, the resumption scenarios will be discussed more via GM conference call on Thursday and NBA Board of Governors call on Friday.