Cavs: Darius Garland’s deep shooting is setting up rest of his game

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) /

Darius Garland has been playing well for the most part for the Cleveland Cavaliers in their recent stretch, in this case, even while the overall squad has been inconsistent.

Garland has been up to 16.8 points and 5.8 assists per game on the season, and continues to show that he looks to have a very promising future ahead. Clearly, this season, he’s not been second-guessing as much and not had his prior meniscus injury at Vanderbilt in the back of his mind, as he reportedly did last season.

The shiftiness from Garland has been much more on display in Year 2, and that’s helped him generate space more often than he seemingly did last season, and the lack of apprehension, largely when he’s been mostly healthy has shown.

Additionally, Garland has been better as a three-point shooter this season, coupled with that sort of thing, and he’s been especially on lately. In his last 11 games, Garland’s hit 44.2 percent from beyond the arc on a pretty solid 4.7 attempts per contest; that volume might need to increase a bit going forward, but that can come in time.

In that aforementioned span overall, he’s had 19.0 points per outing, to go with 5.9 assists, for what it’s worth.

Albeit circling back, the deep shooting for Garland, and the willingness to look for those looks, with some of them coming off movement and in secondary transition, too, has helped set up other stuff for the young lead guard.

Garland’s deep shooting has been setting up the rest of his game recently for the Cavs.

As we hit on, the deep shooting for Garland has taken a step forward, and we saw the range from him in his career-high 37-point explosion on Monday in San Antonio, for example, when he was five-of-10 from there. He and the club were cruising throughout that one, but his perimeter looks early on began to set up him being able to get into the lane for both his own offense and others.

That was similar in OKC on Thursday as well, and even in some losses of late, him demonstrating his deep shooting capabilities/range has only made his change of pace on-ball more difficult to account for.

This drive after Garland had been having it rolling is the kind of thing I’m referring to, thanks to his range, as Derrick White was way out to prevent a Garland shot. And although he still has to improve on the interior in coming years, Garland’s finishing has been much better near the rim this season, again because of the change of pace/quickness in getting to his spots more.

We’ve also seen more of these flashes thanks to the range, when the opportunities have presented themselves, as the season has progressed for DG in transition/secondary transition. That’s not a ton of chances game-to-game, but him keeping White off balance, leading to a layup from his hesitation near the corner after a Love outlet pass was nice to see, too.

Garland’s hesitation effectiveness, combined with his quickness, has led to more free throws playing off the range he’s shown recently for the Cleveland Cavaliers, also, which has been another positive development. He’s hardly going to get to the line with the same volume of Sexton, but Garland at least having 3.4 free throw attempts in his past 11 games, and converting on 86.5 percent of them, has been a plus.

From there, while it’s not a look you want to see him take nearly as much as he did earlier on in the season, the range from Garland/shiftiness does enable him to get to floaters, which he does still need to take at times to get in-rhythm and/or help open up lobs.

Along with the deep shooting helping open up more scoring opportunities as counters for Garland, it’s again, as we mentioned, further aided him as a passer.

DG has been able to consistently penetrate with opponents wanting to deter his perimeter shots, which has led to dishes to Isaiah Hartenstein as a roller/diver, for example, and has jumpstarted productive ball-swings/kickouts for other guys, too.

Of course, Love has been one of those players in more recent games in his return, and Dean Wade has, too, to go with Taurean Prince to some extent. The cutting feeds to Isaac Okoro have been for Garland as a natural counter as well, although the same has been the case to Dellavedova in his burn, to go with Sexton as a cutting target.

And I’d only expect those key deliveries in those crucial areas to continue to play out more regularly from here as Garland continues to show his deep range/pick-and-roll creation abilities.

Next. Making the case for Garland being the Cavs' best player. dark

Moreover, this recent stretch from Garland in which he’s really shown that range has indicated that he looks to be just getting started for the Cleveland Cavaliers in both the scoring and playmaking sense as he gains more and more experience.