Being more efficient on pull-up 3’s is crucial for Cavs’ Darius Garland

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff talks with Cleveland guard Darius Garland. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff talks with Cleveland guard Darius Garland. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Darius Garland needs to be more efficient on pull-up three-pointers for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

I’ll be the first to admit that Darius Garland has struggled a bunch of his rookie season so far for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It also seems extremely likely, per a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, that NBA owners will be voting to have 22 teams participate in a season resumption in Orlando on Thursday.

That essentially makes it seem that Garland’s 2019-20 campaign is likely in the books.

Garland again, has had his ups and downs for Cleveland, and his 12.3 points per game average, given Garland’s natural shooting ability and tight handle, has been fairly underwhelming. On the bright side, Garland has hit a healthy 39.2 percent of his catch-and-shoot three-point attempts, per’s shot tracking data.

As the season has progressed, his floater touch had gotten better, too, and him having a 4.9-to-1.8 assist-to-turnover ratio in his last 10 games active was a big positive. Even so, Garland does need to be better in a key area going forward for him to have a bigger impact game-to-game.

Garland needs to be more efficient on pull-up three-point attempts for the Cleveland Cavaliers in coming years.

On the season, Garland’s effective field goal shooting clip on pull-ups has been 44.6 percent, which for a rookie guard is respectable.

Garland also only played five games in his collegiate career at Vanderbilt due to a meniscus tear, so I’ll give him plenty of slack on needing to adjust more to get more separation on pull-ups/gain more explosive quickness heading into next season.

That being said, for him to establish himself as the primary playmaker/lead guard of the future for Cleveland, he’ll need to be more efficient on pull-up triple attempts. That’s a crucial part of him hitting near his ceiling, which could be very high, with Garland’s deep range, encouraging playmaking feel and handle.

It’s definitely not a sure thing that he will, though, and Garland hitting only 31.7 percent on his pull-up three-point attempts in 2019-20 to this point has been far from stellar.

He’ll again need to be able to generate more separation to do so, and/or at least in pick-and-roll situations when bigs are switched out on to him. Albeit I would think that’s feasible with hopefully a full offseason for him to be able to work on his game, assuming his left groin strain is more/fully recovered at this point.

Garland has shown flashes of deep shooting off-the-bounce in his first season, though, and in coming years, I could see him improving season-to-season in that regard. As the season had progressed, Garland did some to get comfortable and was playing at a good pace, and I’d hope that can lead to him taking advantage more in the pull-up triple variety with him being more decisive.

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Too often it seemed Garland was hesitating initially instead of letting deep pull-ups fly, and that included at times in the catch-and-shoot realm on three-pointers. Again, it would be beneficial, if Garland can create separation more consistently in the pull-up game, though.

If that’s the case, he could get to better looks inside the arc after hard closeouts and/or hit lobs/cutters in pieces such as Collin Sexton, Larry Nance Jr. and Kevin Porter Jr. after rotators have to come.

Garland has shown he has the vision to see those dishes, too, and did a better and more timely job of hitting spray-outs to shooters/initiating ball-swings to Kevin Love, Sexton and others as the year has progressed as well.

Looking forward at next season and coming years, however, for Garland to have a bigger impact game-to-game for the Cavs, he’ll need to hit more of his pull-up triple attempts, along with him needing to improve some on-ball defensively. That could be helped by him getting stronger.

I still believe Garland could prove to be a big part of a Cavaliers’ eventual turnaround, and next season, I see him as being one of Cleveland’s best off-movement shooters, at least in terms of efficiency.

What will be crucial for him being able to maximize on his ability, though, is being able to hit his pull-up three-pointers more. If that means having a bit lower frequency than this year’s of 2.4 per game and him shooting more off of movement/off-ball, that’s fine, but I’d still expect Garland to take his share of pull-up triples.

Next. Cavs know what Collin Sexton and Larry Nance Jr. provide. dark

Moreover, hitting those looks more would be invaluable for him inside the arc and the Cavs’ offense.