Making the case for Darius Garland as the Cavs’ best player

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland handles the ball. (Photo by Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland handles the ball. (Photo by Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland shoots the ball. (Photo by Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports) /

#3: Garland’s ability to adapt to whatever role is necessary for the Cavs

With the Cavaliers in this role, DG has been more of a pass-first guard, realistically, by necessity, at least to some extent. Collin Sexton, conversely, by nature, is a shoot-first guard for the Cavs, and is anyway. This undoubtedly makes the two a technical match made in heaven.

The primary difference between the two however is that while we have seen Sexton improve as a passer (now up to 4.2 a game) he doesn’t always appear comfortable running the offense. Garland seems to be able to flip the proverbial switch whenever it’s deemed necessary.

He can take a back seat to Sexton when the Alabama product has it going but even when that is the case, Garland still manages to impact the game in other ways. Sexton on the other hand seems to fade into the background when he isn’t scoring. That isn’t a knock on him, it’s just the fact that scoring is what he absolutely does best.

In the 21 games in which Sexton has failed to score 24 or more points (his season average), Cleveland has gone an abysmal 3-18. In those same 21 games, he failed to register five or more assists in 14 of them. Again that is not a knock on him, it’s simply that while he is coming along as a facilitator, he isn’t as impactful when his shot isn’t falling.

As I previously stated, there is a strong case for Sexton, Garland, Nance Jr., and Allen all to be considered Cleveland’s best. Sexton is the team’s leading scorer, Nance is perhaps its most well-rounded player, Allen is its best rebounder/interior presence and carries a metric ton of potential. It’s very much a matter of what is of most value to the organization and fans alike.

This core will only continue to grow organically together and in due time, we will truly know who the best player is. Until that time comes, let’s just enjoy the fact that for the first time in the post-LeBron James era, we have potential franchise building blocks in place with nowhere to go but up.

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In any case, from my perspective, Garland is currently the best player on the Wine and Gold for the reasons noted, though.