Cavs: Collin Sexton’s paint production was impressive in Year 3

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

During this now-past season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, guard Collin Sexton led the club in scoring again with 24.3 points per outing.

He followed up his second season, one in which he did the same with 20.8 points per game, with another step forward in that way. Sexton leaned into more of a primary scorer role/2 guard role further in the 2020-21 campaign, and at the same time, Darius Garland had quite the bounce-back Year 2.

That was nice to see in relation to Garland, and for Sexton, while he did get better as a scorer, it was a plus that he had 4.4 assists per outing too, more so in a secondary playmaking sense.

Albeit with Sexton, the scoring took again, another step forward, and he was efficient in how he went about his business for the most part. His true shooting rate of 57.3 percent, even with Cleveland having been so injury-riddled and having its share of inconsistencies shooting-wise around him/Garland, was notable to me.

Sexton did have some ebs and flows as a three-point shooter last season admittedly, but he did still out with a 37.1 percent clip from there, which was hardly something I’m going to be dissatisfied with. In fairness, Sexton did have some minor injuries last season too, of which didn’t aid him in that way at times either; he missed 13 games last season after not missing any in his first two seasons.

Nonetheless, for the young guard, he still was able to often display further strides regarding his change-of-pace abilities, and that led to him getting to in-rhythm mid-range/floater looks.

Along with that, with his feel in that realm and with his improved strength, to go with his burst, Sexton made his presence felt inside game-to-game. The paint production for Sexton jumped out to me, frankly.

Sexton’s paint production for the Cavs in Year 3 was impressive.

In his third season for the Wine and Gold, Sexton had 12.4 paint points per game, which was tied with De’Aaron Fox for eighth in the NBA. For further context, Bradley Beal was the only perimeter player that averaged more paint points.

In regards to drives, of which were the reasoning for most of that from Sexton clearly, he had 9.7 points via those per game, per Second Spectrum’s tracking data. That was tied with Kyrie Irving for eighth in the league.

That’s worth noting from Sexton, and while there are definitely others involved in that realm on Irving’s team, whereas it was more so Garland at a high volume, it still shows how Collin is so tough to account for as a constant driving threat.

His quickness led to plenty of chances again for him in that way, both in settled offense and in transition, but his strength/ability to take on contact did too. That played a crucial role in Sexton averaging 6.4 free throws per contest in 2020-21, and in relation to from drives, he had 2.5 free throws per outing stemming from those.

Additionally, as we hit on, the change-of-pace for Collin, both leading to high quality floater looks from about eight-to-10 feet, and looks near the restricted area after hostage dribbles in pick-and-roll and/or hesitations led to a ton of success.

And next season, based on what he demonstrated in Year 3, I’d expect Sexton to keep progressing as a scorer in the painted area, also factoring in another offseason for him to feasibly keep adding strength.

Granted, moving forward, I would like to see Sexton attempt more three-point shots game-to-game, but his ability to get into the paint and finish often is still very useful and over time, it’s led to more drive-and-kick opportunities. That aids other guys, such as Garland to an extent, along with Kevin Love (when healthy), among others.

Sexton does need to improve on his handle too, as an aside, to keep becoming more dangerous on-ball. But with Collin’s truly rare work ethic, and with how he’s progressed as a shooter and passer, I would imagine that sort of thing will/can definitely happen moving forward.

Moreover, for Sexton, who could seemingly be due for a sizeable extension this offseason, and I potentially see via the max, making things happen throughout games in the paint will likely always be something he’ll be able to rely on to help Cleveland’s offense.

Next. 2 goals for Garland in Year 3. dark

And to reiterate, the continued growth/paint production last season was impressive from the 22-year-old guard, who appears to be a budding star for the Cavaliers.