Darius Garland’s performance was key positive takeaway from Cavs team workouts

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland shoots the ball. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland shoots the ball. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Darius Garland made quite a showing for himself at the Cleveland Cavaliers in-market bubble team workouts.

As the Cleveland Cavaliers watched the NBA season resume without them in Orlando, players and coaches were left with a bad taste in their mouths. Did it make sense to leave out the bottom-feeder teams?

Sure. Does it put those bottom-feeder teams at a bit of a disadvantage to start the new season coming up, considering they don’t have near as many game reps as other teams? Absolutely.

For Cavs young pieces such as Darius Garland, Collin Sexton and Kevin Porter Jr., it was tough to have missed out on what was set to be more of a closing portion of their 2019-20 season, ultimately due to novel coronavirus concerns.

On the plus side, Cleveland did get to have some more reps, at least most of the squad, via the club’s own in-market bubble. That, of which recently concluded a few days back, involved some 5-on-5 scrimmaging, most notably, and what was nice to hear about was the performance of the aforementioned Garland.

Coming into these Cavs workouts, we definitely heard about Collin Sexton, and how he reportedly put on 10-15 pounds of muscle, making him an even more dangerous guard.

So other than Sexton, who seemingly received the most praise among Cleveland Cavaliers players? Garland, which was a key positive takeaway.

Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff emphasized how Garland looked good, and this extended offseason seems to have been an overall nice step forward for him. And after all, during this now-past campaign for Cleveland, Garland was not reportedly himself, in relation to him seemingly being affected by a prior meniscus tear at Vanderbilt still from 2018-19.

Here was more on noteworthy praise from Bickerstaff of DG, circling back, anyhow, via Forbes‘ Evan Dammarell.

While Garland only averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 assists and shot just 40.1 percent from the field last season, there is a little more to be concerned with. Too many times last season, we would see Garland pass up shots that were there, resulting in a worse attempt and/or no basket. While it is understandable because he was a rookie and was seemingly not fully ready to roll, it is still something that must be cleaned up heading into this next season.

According to reports, Garland not only looks like a different player and has worked on his frame, but he also came to the bubble looking shiftier in team scrimmages, which was clearly a key positive takeaway. If the Cavs want to have success this next season, they are going to need to see big-time growth and improvements from many different players on the roster, and Garland, likely even more so.

As we all know, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still, realistically, fully in rebuild mode, so the amount of success they have should have a cap on it to a certain extent.

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That said, if young players like Garland and company can continue to improve, and these team voluntary workouts were a positive step, the Cavs could have more success than many think.