Darius Garland is fastest to hit 200 3s in Cavs history; keeps improving

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland reacts in-game. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland reacts in-game. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

As we know, the Cleveland Cavaliers have had their share of ups and downs, as evidenced by their last three games coming into Wednesday’s game against the Chicago Bulls.

The Cavaliers ended up having issues with the Golden State Warriors’ pace in a loss last Thursday, had a rough third quarter and last few minutes on Saturday at Chicago and starting out horribly at the Detroit Pistons on Monday.

That Pistons loss, in particular, was a particularly bad one, as they are in the tank, and even while they often have been scrappy and play hard, Detroit was without the likes of Jerami Grant, Mason Plumlee, Wayne Ellington and Cory Joseph, among others. There were no excuses for that one, and in the prior Chicago loss, the Bulls were without Zach LaVine (COVID-19 health and safety protocols).

On the plus side, Cleveland has shown plenty of positive signs throughout the season, and the play often of Collin Sexton and Darius Garland has been in that realm, and it seems that the Wine and Gold have another core piece in Jarrett Allen, looking onward. Rookie Isaac Okoro has had a very good stretch recently, too, and his defense shouldn’t be discounted.

And near-deadline trade acquisition Isaiah Hartenstein has been productive in his reserve burn, and hopefully, the Cavaliers can find a way to keep him around. We’ll see in regards to that, though.

All of that said, circling back, the player that, aside from Sexton, has really continued to pop of late, and I’m sure Kevin Love’s presence being back has helped, has been Garland. The young lead guard is currently averaging 17.4 points and 6.0 assists per outing on the season, which has been quite the bounce-back clip.

In his past seven games, in particular, he’s had 21.0 points and 7.0 assists per outing as well, and he’s knocked in 3.0 of his 6.9 three-point attempts per contest, a 43.8 percent hit rate.

And in Cleveland’s Wednesday win over the Bulls, although they were again LaVine-less, the Cavs were dominant with assistant coach Greg Buckner filling in for head coach J.B. Bickerstaff (personal), and Garland himself was sharp with 25 points on eight-of-13 shooting in 29 minutes. He had four assists and two steals, too.

Granted, I’m absolutely not glossing over Sexton’s 30-point, seven-assist performance, either, and he did so on 11-of-17 shooting, including three-of-five from deep in 31 minutes.

Albeit with Garland, he keeps emerging for Cleveland, particularly while playing with so much confidence it seems in the scoring sense, and we’re often seeing the deep shooting game-to-game. In that regard, Garland in that Wednesday W was four-of-four from deep and became the fastest player in Cavaliers history to hit 200 three-pointers made; he was clearly humbled and honored to have that distinction, too.

Even in today’s league, this was impressive, and Garland keeps improving for the Cavs.

Clearly, in today’s league, this sort of thing I have to read into with a grain of salt. Guys like Mark Price and Craig Ehlo before, and perhaps Bobby Phills or perhaps Ricky Davis later, based on games played of course, could’ve had much quicker high-volume three totals, but the league was much different than it is today.

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All things considered, though, this was still noteworthy for Garland, who did so quicker than Kyrie Irving and Sexton as well, for instance, as Garland did so in 107 games played.

With the young, 21-year-old lead guard, the key, as was mentioned, is him seemingly gaining more and more confidence game-to-game.

We’re seeing Garland grow more comfortable both showing the deep range off-the-catch, but also off-the-bounce, and that’s been with increased volume lately.

And this season, Garland has mostly been fully himself physically, whereas that was reportedly not the case in Year 1, when he had his prior meniscus injury that cut his lone collegiate season at Vanderbilt short in the back of his mind. He didn’t nearly have the same shiftiness he’s displayed in Year 2 then.

Furthermore, as the season has progressed for Garland, we’ve seen him look more confident on-ball, which has aided him inside the arc as well, and he’s been getting more free throws as a result of the deep range having been displayed. He’s looked more in-rhythm overall, and that’s led to more separation for him on drives, too.

Along with the scoring/deep shooting, though, his playmaking/passing feel has continued to make a difference for Cleveland.

Pick-and-pop timing with Love, who recently actually became second in made 3s in Cavs history, has been a key for Garland, too, and the dishes to cutters, such as Isaac Okoro have jumped out, also. Diddo for the lob feeds to Allen, for example, and it’s just evident that Garland’s command of the offense is ever-growing.

To reiterate, though, this feat from Garland in the three-point shooting sense within Cavaliers history is still noteworthy, even in today’s NBA, and he keeps improving game-to-game for the Wine and Gold. I’m also not glossing over the defensive growth off-ball he’s been showing as the season has progressed, either, in that regard.

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Congrats go out to Garland on this accomplishment, anyway.