Cavs: Collin Sexton should be primed for another strong close

Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)
Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports) /

Collin Sexton hadn’t been in action for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the past two games due to a hamstring injury that is reportedly minor. While I’d expect Sexton to have a bit of rust in the next few outings to come still, in the closing stretch, he should be still ready to roll.

Again I’m not dismissing the hamstring injury, but it isn’t seemingly too serious, and I’d imagine with treatment to come, and with Sexton’s competitiveness, he’ll be more than fine. He was very effective in Saturday’s rough loss at the Sacramento Kings that ended on a Harrison Barnes buzzer-beater.

On the season, the third-year guard has again led Cleveland in scoring with 24.0 points per outing, and in his past six games active, he’s had 26.0 points per contest. He’s hit a healthy 2.3 of his 6.0 three-point attempts per appearance, a 38.9 percent clip, too.

His change of pace off-the-bounce, which he displayed last season, has again been a difference-maker for Collin this season, and that had been showcased even more so of late. To reiterate, Sexton will likely have a bit of rust in the next few games, to some extent perhaps, but I wouldn’t expect this to be too hampering.

Collin being back on Saturday took pressure off of Darius Garland some on-ball. And he’ll keep filling it up in a big way.

Sexton should be set for another strong finish for the Cavs, too.

Sexton, just as he did in his first two seasons, seems poised to finish especially well for Cleveland. There are some turnover issues at times with Collin, sure, but the Cavaliers/Darius Garland and Larry Nance Jr. in his return had been getting Sexton some better off-ball looks of late.

Recently, there were seemingly more instances of getting Sexton catch-and-shoot looks via skip passes to the weak side from Nance/Garland, and on-ball, Sexton was starting to show better feel with timing up his drives after ball screens set from Jarrett Allen. And both of those things I’d expect to see for Cleveland/Sexton as they look to keep getting him quality looks in his go-to areas.

Plus, as has been the case for much of the season, but also more of late, Sexton should be able to generate his share of free throw attempts, too. And that should play into him closing the campaign strong as he had last season as well in that realm.

Sexton of course had 25.3 points per outing in his last 12 games active of last season, and hit 51.9 percent of his shots. That included him hitting 41.9 percent of his deep balls. Then, the Cavs’ 2019-20 campaign ended out, ultimately, given the COVID-19-induced hiatus/Cleveland not having been an Orlando bubble team.

Alright so, again, though, with how Sexton has continued to come on of late, if/when he’s really fully ready to roll, I’d expect him to pick up where he left off pretty quick when he’s fully back. And the Cavs should benefit from that with the pressure Sexton constantly puts on defenses, and he’d help take pressure off of Garland, and other guys, such as Cedi Osman, to an extent, who is mightily struggling right now.

Moreover, with Sexton starting to assert himself more from three-point range, that’s only made his driving/pull-up game more viable, and in turn, made his speed more meaningful as games progress. That has also, when crunch time opportunities have arisen, made Sexton all the more dangerous.

So to drive it home, considering how Collin has taken continued strides on-ball, and seemingly in the past 10 or so appearances for him, even, I’d expect him to further prove he’s a crucial piece still moving forward and solidify himself as Cleveland’s top scoring option.

And yes, he’s reportedly in-line for a contract extension this upcoming offseason it appears, and the Cavs need to do what they have to do to lock him up when the opportunity presents itself. The same will be the case in relation to Jarrett Allen, whose set to be a restricted free agent.

Next. Cleveland Cavaliers: 10 greatest guards in franchise history. dark

Anyhow, I’d anticipate Sexton to close out this season especially strong to help the Cavs get momentum, realistically, heading into next season. It’s tough to foresee a potential play-in apperance at this point still, due to Cleveland’s inconsistencies as a team and Kevin Love’s injury struggles, but I could be wrong, though.