Cavs: Collin Sexton needs to expect more frequent doubles going forward

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) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton won’t be shocking anybody from here on out by having high scoring totals.

Collin Sexton has firmly established himself as the top scorer for the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the 2019-20 campaign, Sexton led the Wine and Gold with 20.8 points per game, and did so with an improved true shooting rate of 56.0 percent, as opposed to his true shooting clip as a rookie at 52.0 percent.

Sexton is clearly capable of filling it up in a variety of ways, and his ability to change speeds he showcased last season made him ever-more dangerous off-the-bounce via pull-ups and drives.

Sexton is a player that often via catch-and-shoot three-point attempts has proven effective, and he hit 42.1 percent of those looks last season, per NBA.com’s shot tracking data. Next season, I believe we’ll see Sexton very sharp on pull-up triple attempts, too.

Heading into his third year with the Cavs, I could definitely foresee Sexton putting up 22.0-23.0 points per outing, also, and I’m sure he’s been working on his game from an individual perspective constantly since the novel coronavirus-induced hiatus began. The Cavs 2019-20, formally in terms of games, is over, for context.

Anyhow, with next season in mind, though, when it comes to Sexton, he won’t be shocking anybody anymore when it comes to gaudy bucket-getting numbers.

Sexton further leaned into a key scoring role last season, and while I wouldn’t imagine we’ll see him and Darius Garland together quite as much next season, Sexton still will be playing with a scorer’s mentality whether or not he’s formally at the 1 or 2. That’s plenty fine with me, too, as Sexton is such a diverse scorer that puts continuous pressure on opposing defenses.

That said, Sexton needs to expect more frequent double teams going forward from Cleveland Cavaliers opponents.

In Sexton’s last 33 games of 2019-20, he had 23.5 points per outing on 49.3 percent shooting, which also included him hitting 44.4 percent of his three-point attempts, to go with 3.5 assists per game.

In any case, it is evident to me that going forward, Sexton needs to expect more frequent double teams from Cavs opponents.

It’s not as though Sexton didn’t get a fair amount of doubles from opponents last season, he did. But with how Sexton is now Cleveland’s top scoring threat firmly going forward it seems, and that not being Kevin Love, Sexton needs to be well aware that he’s going to draw more and more attention from opposing defenses on-ball.

That will relate to Sexton then making often simple passes out of that, but from my perspective, it’s all the more reason for the Cavs to feature Sexton more off the ball.

He did seem to have better feel as a cutter as his second season progressed, which was encouraging. In addition, with an off-ball screening presence such as Andre Drummond a bunch on the floor with Sexton, while I’d expect that to lead to more off-ball screening for Love, Sexton could benefit in that way some, too.

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That could result in some quick-hitting looks for Sexton off-the-catch after deliveries from Garland, Kevin Porter Jr., Love and/or Larry Nance Jr., which could make doubling very tough.

Also, Sexton could feasibly prevent the potential for double teams from opposing defenses in that way by utilizing Drummond off-ball screens more so as a cutter leading to a quick pull-up off a curl or Sexton having more so a cutting interior attempt.

In terms of the passing element, while again, most instances in this regard would probably lead to Sexton hitting the simple pass, on occasion, if Sexton sees a double team coming, he could maybe see a skip feed and deliver that.

That could perhaps at times lead to an open perimeter look for Garland, KPJ, Cedi Osman, Nance and/or Dylan Windler (if he’s healthy hopefully), or at least lead to a higher percentage look after an ensuing ball-swing after a scrambling set of rotations.

Now, conversely, if Sexton anticipates double teams coming, which again I believe we’ll see Sexton doubled more and more next season to prevent him getting to his preferred spots, Sexton could give the ball up quick and get it back for a quality look.

Relocation for Sexton we haven’t seen much of, but in two-man games between him and Kevin Love/Nance, in particular, I could see that as being very effective and enable Sexton to get into in-rhythm spot-ups/one-dribble pull-ups.

Perhaps at times Sexton could sprint right into a productive handoff at times to drive/drive-and-kick as a wrinkle off of that with those bigs, too, and Sexton did show better recognition in hitting spray-outs leading into the hiatus.

Morevoer, with it being abundantly clear that Sexton is a dynamite scorer for the Cleveland Cavaliers, he needs to be ultra-aware that he’s going to be doubled likely more and more throughout games going forward. So even while he’ll still get tons of opportunities, anyhow, and should, the Cavs and Sexton can utilize ways to counter that to help out their team offensive outlook.

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That’s if Sexton shows improved feel in how to handle those situations, though, and continues to show off-ball growth.