3 Cavaliers standout players thus far at the quarter poll

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton reacts in-game. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton reacts in-game. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

So far in the first quarter of the 2020-21 NBA season, the Cleveland Cavaliers find themselves in the mix in the Eastern Conference competing for a playoff spot.

At this point, the Cavs are currently sitting at 9-9, which has been an encouraging start to the campaign. Cleveland head coach J.B. Bickerstaff has this squad playing well, and they’ve kept it together even while dealing with an injury pileup that they’re finally starting to get out of it seems.

Granted, the Cavs have an improved roster with a great mix of older veterans and younger, promising pieces.

So who are a few players, in particular, that have jumped out that have been standouts thus far, then?

Here, we’ll highlight three such players, with these being guys that have had more of an extended sample size with the Cavs this season.

The first is their #5 overall selection from back in November in Isaac Okoro.

Okoro has looked good for the Cavs so far defensively

The former Auburn forward, Isaac Okoro, has been one of the better rookies to come out of the 2020 NBA Draft. In 13 starts, he’s averaging 8.5 points per game and though the offensive game is still growing, where Okoro stands out the most is his impact on defense.

The Cavaliers are currently ranked eighth in the league in defensive rating, and behind while Okoro has had a few rough outings of late, his perimeter defense has been impactful, for the most part. He’s often been tasked with defending primary perimeter scorers for Cleveland, and has more than held his own for most of the way to this point.

So far he’s proved he can guard and is only going to get better as his career goes along, and him having 1.4 steals per contest has helped the Cavs get easy opportunities in the open floor. And his finishing touch has often flashed as well.

Moving along, another standout has been Andre Drummond.

Drummond has been a big-time interior force for the Cavs

When the Cavs traded for Drummond near the 2020 deadline via deal with the Detroit Pistons, they hoped to add a player to help turn their franchise around after three consecutive seasons of missing the playoffs. That was seemingly assuming Drummond would eventually pick up his $28.8 million player option for now-this season, of which he ending up doing.

So far Drummond has been a key reason for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ success in the 2020-21 season. His impact on the boards, where he leads the league at 14.7 rebounds per game, to go with his 18.9 points per game, have been huge. He also set a Cavs record for consecutive double-doubles to begin a season, which ended out at 12, which was so impressive, too.

But his defensive impact is where Drummond has shined the most as he is proving to be the anchor the Cavs needed after a season in which they ranked last in defensive rating for the second year in a row.

He currently averages 1.6 steals per game to go along with 1.4 blocks per game, and he’s altered his share of shots as well, which has helped Cleveland’s team defense overall.

Even while Drummond it seems could very well be moved by the deadline, and recent rumors/reports about a potential buyout/him eventually heading to the Brooklyn Nets, for what it’s worth, seem far-fetched, Drummond’s efforts have been admirable. At the quarter poll for the Cavs at least, he’s appeared especially bought-in, and he’s been a force, and even with Jarrett Allen now in the fold, Drummond is still getting it done, and then some.

From there, the other Cav that’s been a clear standout has been Collin Sexton.

Sexton has been a walking bucket for the Cavs

More from King James Gospel

Sexton is having a breakout season. He has further solidified himself as a crucial part of the Cavaliers offense this season after leading Cleveland in scoring last season with 20.8 points per outing, as he is currently averaging 25.2 points per game on an efficient  51.7 percent shooting.

You can also make a case that Sexton is having an All-Star season so far, too, and he has gotten better each season.

Plus, Sexton has also proved that he can score when it counts the most.

His performance against the Brooklyn Nets, in the first outing, especially, was incredible, and that was following him missing five games due to a left ankle sprain. He did reportedly tweak that in Cleveland’s win over the Pistons on Wednesday, but seems okay, though.

In any case, in that Nets game last Wednesday, Sexton had 20 points at the end of regulation, but ended out with a career-best 42 points.

That was after he had 22 in the two overtime periods in that W over the star-studded Nets, albeit that was the first game for the Kyrie Irving-James Harden-Kevin Durant trio. Nonetheless, Sexton also ended up setting the Cavs record eventually for consecutive 20-plus-point games to begin a season, which was 10 games, ultimately.

It’s been nice to see Sexton, particularly with Darius Garland having missed eight games (right shoulder sprain) previously, improve as a passer this season/dating back to last season, too, though.

Taking a look at the Cavs Player of the Week for Jan. 18-24. dark. Next

Collin’s had 4.2 assists per outing thus far, which has been good to see.