Cleveland Cavaliers: Player of the Week for April 19-25

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland shoots the ball. (Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland shoots the ball. (Photo by Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) /

This past week of Cleveland Cavaliers basketball can be cited as slightly disappointing. After a 119-101 loss to the Golden State Warriors during the Thursday of the week prior, the Cavaliers were slated to play the Detriot Pistons, Chicago Bulls, Charlotte Hornets and the Washington Wizards.

These were must-win games for the Cavaliers as they look to potentially make the playoffs for the first time since 2018, LeBron James’ last season in Cleveland.

The games didn’t go as many may have expected with the Cavaliers finishing off the week 1-3 and their lone win coming against the Bulls, who were without Zach LaVine, though. To make matters worse, the Cavaliers would lose to the Pistons without Jerami Grant and the Hornets without LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward. For the Wizards game, the Cavaliers were without Collin Sexton and playing a Wizards team that had won seven straight games.

Throughout all that has happened, the team fought hard and earned a ton of learning experience from these games. One of, if not the biggest bright spots from these games was Darius Garland, who is our Player of the Week.

Garland, who he keeps getting better, was the standout performer during this past week of April 19-25 for the Cavs.

Through four games played this past week, Garland averaged 25.8 points, 6.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game on 52.8/48/83 shooting splits. Garland’s complete turnaround from his rookie season has given the Cavs what looks to be their backcourt of the future with both him and Sexton.

Garland’s combination of scoring and efficiency during this past week is reminiscent of Sexton’s final games of the 2019-20 season that had fans salivating about the jump that Sexton would make in his third season.

The difference between the two is that Garland has been better at playmaking and being able to better balance scoring and creating for others, a key for point guards in today’s NBA. Looking at the one win the Cavaliers had gotten this past week against the Bulls, Garland put up 25 points on just 13 shot attempts to go along with four assists and two steals.

And the biggest takeaway from that game was Garland’s impact as he had the second-highest plus-minus from that game behind Isaac Okoro. Collin Sexton was also able to continue his hot streak, putting up an efficient 30 points and seven assists, though.

From there, Sunday’s game at the Wizards was a real test for Garland seeing as he was without the other two consistent shot creators on the team in Sexton (concussion) and Taurean Prince (season-ending surgery to reportedly come soon and/or has played out). Garland would stand to the challenge, putting up 28 points and nine assists on 45/50/100 shooting splits.

Garland’s knack for making others around him better was also seen during this game as Jarrett Allen had a career-high 27 points, and Cedi Osman in a spot start had 19 points. Garland was plenty to do with both in that regard.

The Cavaliers and Garland were able to hold a lead for most of the contest but experience and health caught up to them late as the Wizards were able to take a lead and never look back.

Regardless, this makes it the fourth straight week that Garland has been looked at as the Cavs Player of the Week for King James Gospel and we will see if that streak can continue next week. Our own Mack Perry had that as the case for the week prior, for instance.

Moreover, Garland’s second season jump makes for an exciting offseason as the Cavaliers look to make the playoffs once again. Clearly, this season, his prior meniscus injury that cut his lone collegiate season short, and of which was reportedly in the back of his mind during his rookie season, has not affected him at all this season.

The Cavs have made a positive change to player introductions. dark. Next

Garland has seemed to hit his stride and as he continues to learn more and more with each game, his play will continue to elevate.