Cavs: Collin Sexton has looked solid, but a bit rusty after few-game absence

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton drives. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton drives. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

Collin Sexton had had it going for the Cleveland Cavaliers, by and large, for a considerable stretch there, but had then been seemingly a bit banged up.

Sexton had missed Cleveland’s game last Sunday versus the New Orleans Pelicans, along with their Wednesday outing at the Charlotte Hornets. Despite being very shorthanded in that New Orleans game, the Cavs, although Lonzo Ball and Nickeil Alexander-Walker weren’t in it, did hang tough and lost in a close one.

Meanwhile, the Cavaliers had a nice team effort and did get some reinforcements back in that Wednesday one at the Hornets, such as Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance Jr., and Taurean Prince, who has largely been feeling it, had a big-time 25-point outing. Now Charlotte has been and was without LaMelo Ball (wrist) and Gordon Hayward (foot), who both could be out for the remainder of the season, which clearly didn’t help Charlotte’s cause, though.

Circling back, for the Wine and Gold, it is a positive that Collin Sexton has looked solid in his return, however, after missing those past two outings before, as noted. He had initially been questionable, and then was sidelined in those due to a left groin strain.

Collin has had a bit of rust in his two games, back, though.

Sexton has done fairly well in his first two games back for the Cavs, but a bit rusty.

Sexton, as we know, has been filling it up throughout this season for Cleveland, and has continued to take further strides as a three-level scorer in Year 3.

He’s led the Cavs with 24.2 points per outing this season thus far, and though Cleveland did have their ups and downs in Thursday’s L to the Golden State Warriors, Sexton did have it rolling in that one to a large extent.

He had a cool 30 points on 10-of-19 shooting, and while it has been a rough stretch of games for him as a three-point shooter, dating to before the absences, I wouldn’t expect that to be too much of an issue. He hit 3-of-5 from deep in that one, and the bucket-getting off-the-bounce was there via change-of-pace; plus, Sexton got the free throw line 10 times.

Granted, Sexton was a minus-29 in that Golden State outing, but he looked good himself, from my perspective, and playing with reserves a fair amount played largely into that. Cleveland’s bench had a particularly rough outing in that Thursday outing, too, and that sort of thing is why I don’t read much into individual game plus-minus metrics for players, frankly.

Shifting gears, from there, I thought Collin did show nice change-of-pace again in a loss at the currently-Zach LaVine-less Chicago Bulls (COVID-19 health and safety protocols), but show some rust and did have five turnovers, admittedly.

Sexton, who had 22 points, was getting to his spots out of pick-and-roll operation, was getting to interior looks via hesitations, on a positive note, and ended up 3-of-6 from deep.

Collin seemed a bit of sorts inside the arc, though, and only ended up shooting 40.0 percent overall, at 8-of-20. There were some rim-outs, sure, but he just appeared a bit off regarding his pull-up game, due to perhaps a bit of rust.

Albeit in a general sense, Sexton seems fine and mostly healthy, which is encouraging.

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He hasn’t appeared limited, really, regarding the groin, which is good for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they look to make a push for a potential play-in spot down the stretch.