Cavs’ Collin Sexton’s evenly distributed scoring is so tough to defend

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton attacks the basket. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton attacks the basket. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton’s scoring is always going to be evenly distributed, making him so tough to defend.

Heading into his third season, we know that Collin Sexton can flat-out fill it up for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Sexton closed his rookie year on a scoring tear, and in the 2019-20 campaign, he led the Wine and Gold in scoring with 20.8 points per game.

In Sexton’s last 32 games this past season, he had 23.6 points per outing on 49.2 percent shooting, too.

In that stretch of games, in which he had 18.0 shot attempts per game, he was also scorching hot from three-point territory, as he hit 44.9 percent of his then-4.9 deep ball attempts per contest, per Basketball Reference.

Sexton’s catch-and-shoot growth for the Cavs has been a pleasure to see thus far, and going forward, he’d definitely qualify as a viable floor spacer. That should help out the likes of Darius Garland, Kevin Porter Jr. and others.

Going forward, though, it’s not just any one element of scoring, or two, really, that will be what’s keyed in on, which is a strength for him.

While I understand Sexton, whose had a modest 3.0 assists per game through two seasons, needs to show more as a passer, he’s going to be very difficult for opponents to defend because of how he goes about getting his buckets.

Sexton’s always going to have evenly distributed scoring for the Cleveland Cavaliers, which makes him so hard to account for.

Sexton’s continued development from beyond the arc only aids him in other areas as a scorer. When you watch the Young Bull operate, it’s no secret that the 21-year-old loves the mid-range game, which if it’s in-rhythm, is perfectly fine.

Last season, he was not as prone to passing up open catch-and-shoot triples, which was often the case pre-All-Star break his rookie year. That led to him taking unnecessary long 2’s too much, and those looks are not what you want to see.

He’s seemingly cleared up that issue, though, but in-rhythm, those looks are all fine and dandy with me. Sexton is a more than capable pull-up shooter, and him hitting 44.6 percent of his shot attempts from 10-16 feet out last season on a frequency of 15.3 percent demonstrates that.

Him showing the feel for changing speeds in the pick-and-roll game last season will help him going forward in getting more separation for those looks, too.

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Coupled with that, Sexton hitting a respectable 43.5 percent on driving floaters, to go with 50.0 percent on standard floaters in 2019-20, per’s shooting data, again demonstrates how Sexton has plenty in his scoring repertoire.

Now we all know he’s going to will his way to the basket at times, too, and with Sexton’s quickness and track speed in the open floor paying off after deliveries from Kevin Love and Larry Nance Jr., that bodes well for him a bunch. Him getting stronger last offseason also helped in that regard.

Last but not least, in 2019-20, it was good to see, especially with Sexton’s better feel for manipulating matchups in the pick-and-roll game/that change of speeds, him get to the foul line throughout games to get himself going.

Sexton had 4.1 free throw attempts per game, which aside from Andre Drummond with a sample size of eight games, led the Cleveland Cavaliers last season. Sexton hit 84.6 percent of those attempts, too, and on the year, he had a free throw rate of 24.6 percent, which indicates he was putting pressure on defenses throughout games on his drives.

Moreover, while Sexton will have some stretches with him taking more three-point attempts comparatively, his constant threat in the mid-range game/getting to the basket and being able to hit in a variety of ways as a scorer makes him so tough to defend.

Going forward, factoring in that, and with Sexton showing positive strides as a cutter as 2019-20 progressed, a three-point attempt rate of 23.5 percent last season is plenty fine for him moving forward.

The Cleveland Cavaliers should have their fair share of key volume three-point shooters in Love, Darius Garland, Osman, to some extent, Porter, and I’d imagine Dylan Windler off the bench. Windler did not play at all last season due to complications regarding a stress reaction in his left leg, so he’ll take some time to get adjusted.

He could be a crucial piece, however, as he hit 40.6 percent of his three-point attempts in a four-year career at Belmont, and also hit 42.9 percent of his 7.1 deep attempts per outing as a senior, per Sports Reference. Plus, he’s an instinctive cutter and is a polished pull-up shooter and finisher.

Taking those other shooters into consideration even more so, and with Nance’s growth there, in coming years, Sexton’s evenly distributed scoring should have even more of an impact and make him really tough to guard.

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Hopefully along with that, he continues to show more willingness/awareness in hitting drive-and-kicks and more extra passes, though, to aid him as an all-around scorer.