Cavs: 3 reasons Darius Garland should bounce back in year 2

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland handles the ball. (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Reason #2: He should be noticeably more effective in the pick-and-roll

Garland, once again, had his ups and downs in the pick-and-roll game, and one would think his prior injury likely played into his hesitation to pull the trigger at times when he had favorable matchups.

As a PnR scorer last season, Garland had issues to a large degree, and placed in just the 33rd percentile in those situations, per Synergy Sports. And when you factor in that was on a 41.6 percent frequency, that was far from ideal.

On the plus side, Garland did create his share of looks for others as a passer in the PnR, and his timing on lobs did improve as the year wore on. I’d expect him to have better feel for hitting dishes to the likes of Kevin Love, Collin Sexton and others via drive-and-kicks next season operating in those situations, too, with more experience.

Plus, on a positive note, while it’s not necessarily directly related to the PnR, Garland at least hitting 46.7 percent of his driving floater attempts and 46.6 percent of his step back attempts in year 1, per’s shooting data, was a good sign.

With what Garland at least showed in the floater/step back game last season, I’d think he should build on that next season, and with that how he should be less hesitant overall with him not seemingly second guessing due to his prior injury at Vanderbilt.

I’d imagine we should see Garland more capable of taking advantage of favorable PnR matchups as a scorer with him fully ready to roll, and that shiftiness should come into play, and hopefully allow him to be more capable as a finisher potentially.

If Garland has success in that regard/is more decisive as a shooter game-to-game when the PnR matchups are there, and has less hesitation when the look’s seemingly in-rhythm, that should lead to more free throw opportunities from hard closeouts to him, too (he only had 1.2 free throw attempts per game). The same should go for his shiftiness making him more capable in changing speeds as a driver.

And if Garland shows more consistency game-to-game as a PnR scorer, that will only aid him more as a playmaker in those scenarios, where he did show a positive outlook in year one.