Cavs: Deep range continues to pay dividends for Darius Garland

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) /

One can’t help but be impressed from Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland, who has been doing his part for the club throughout his second season in a big way. He’s had quite the bounce-back Year 2, and is now up to 17.7 points and 6.2 assists per contest.

Throughout his first season, it was apparent that Garland was not nearly his full self, if you will, because of him reportedly having had his prior knee injury from his lone collegiate season in the back of his mind.

That likely had some to do with Garland’s up-and-down rookie campaign, but this season, it’s been a different story. And post-All-Star break, he’s often shined, and particularly as of late.

In the month of April, Garland’s had 20.8 points and 7.5 assists per contest in 13 games, and he’s further leaned into shooting it from three-point range with notable volume, which has been a key takeaway, realistically. In that aforementioned span of games this month, he’s hit 42.2 percent of his 6.4 deep attempts per outing.

Now it wasn’t shown in Cleveland’s loss at the Toronto Raptors on Monday, as he only had one triple, as an brief side note with Garland as the clear focus of Toronto’s defense. But we’ve seen Garland typically show he’s comfortable pulling from off-the-catch and off-the-bounce via step backs and side steps, for example, and when operating out of the pick-and-roll, too.

This has been awesome to see from the second-year lead guard.

The deep shooting display and mentality from the young Cavs lead guard continues to pay dividends.

At this point, the range for Garland has been on display more and more game-to-game, and as we alluded to earlier this month, that’s played into him making a difference in other areas in the scoring sense.

The same has paid off for him as a playmaker in getting to better feeds to cutters/lob threats such as Jarrett Allen and to shooters via quick dishes to Collin Sexton, Kevin Love and Dean Wade, among others on the perimeter. Now, Love’s batting of the ball back into play on an in-bound play near the end of the third quarter in that Toronto game was an awful display of frustration, albeit we’ll not get into that a ton here.

But in regards to the deep shooting for Garland, how he’s continued to demonstrate his capabilities in that realm as the month has progressed has really jumped out, even more so.

Garland did miss one outing (ankle sprain) on April 11 against the New Orleans Pelicans, however, since that point, has had 21.9 points per contest and has hit 42.3 percent from downtown on 6.5 attempts per game in those seven outings.

In relation to the deep range, he’s also hit 18 of his 44 deep ball attempts from 25-29 feet out, per’s shooting data; that’s been a healthy 40.9 percent hit rate on shots in that range. Again, at Toronto (well, Tampa Bay for now), that wasn’t much on display, but it often has otherwise.

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Some of the hot shooting from range has come from playing off of the likes of Sexton, for instance, along with Love.

There have been some instances where he’s fired off-the-catch from deliveries from Matthew Dellavedova as well, for further context, and as was noted, the confidence off-the-bounce is something that’s also jumped out.

With the handle he has and the quickness that’s made him a constant threat to get into the paint, both to score with touch/body control/change-of-pace and to distribute, that’s led to the deep balls for him via pull-ups and step backs.

In his past seven games before that Toronto loss, again per’s shooting data, he had hit a solid six of his 16 step back three attempts. And while the volume hadn’t been a ton necessarily, he had hit five of his six pull-up triple attempts in that span.

The confidence is largely growing game-to-game for Garland, which has been a pleasure to watch unfold, and how he’s been especially willing to let it fly in a variety of ways, which has included some off-movement, too, has been a really promising development.

It’s clear that the more he demonstrates his very deep range for Cleveland, the more it enables the young lead guard to open up opportunities for him to get quality looks on the interior and for his teammates to benefit. The pick-and-roll looks to Allen come to mind, in that realm.

Moreover, despite it looking to be highly unlikely that the Cavaliers will end up having a realistic play-in chance, and though they’ve had their share of inconsistencies, Garland, along with Sexton, have continued to show growth.

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And the mentality/Garland further building on the deep shooting capabilities he’s displayed from earlier on by hitting at an efficient clip on a healthy volume has often paid dividends for him and the Wine and Gold. Hopefully the 21-year-old keeps that up to close out the season.