Cleveland Cavaliers: Player of the Week for Nov. 15-21

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images).
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images). /

As far as this past week of games, not including their loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, the Cleveland Cavaliers went 0-3 on the week with losses to the Boston Celtics, Nets, and Golden State Warriors. On the bright side despite their struggle, they remained competitive against great teams amid a slew of injuries that have piled up.

There was also some promising play from players who needed to step up, with one of them in particular being Darius Garland, who was the Player of the Week.

Garland was the Player of the Week for the Cavs for Nov. 15-21, and he’s beginning to fulfill his potential.

Garland’s evolution and consistency have been fun to watch this season and came at an important time for the team with the unfortunate news of Collin Sexton missing the rest of the season because of meniscus surgery. Garland averaged 21.7 points with 4 assists per game on the week.

Garland has done a fine job at running the offense this season, for the most part, with his ability to run the pick-and-roll, and he’s created on his own, and spaced the floor. This makes him a great fit alongside the young duo of Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen, when both are healthy, that is.

Garland’s importance to the team’s success cannot be overstated currently. He will be vital in running the offense as the primary ball-handler moving forward. Without Sexton, this offense will need his shot creation to remain consistent, based on what we saw recently from him and on other occasions.

His playmaking has been great so far this season, as well as Ricky Rubio‘s, and they have both contributed to the success of Allen and Mobley. Rubio also deserves an honorable mention once again for his play during those aforementioned three games from this past week, and he has remained a steal offseason trade acquistion for the team.

Rubio averaged 21 points and 4 assists on the week after stepping up in the absence of Sexton. The team has shuffled their starting five around to make up for their recent injuries, but Rubio’s impact has remained consistent on the bench and while starting. He, Dean Wade and Garland helped Cleveland fight their way back on Wednesday at the Nets to get the Cavs right back into that one, too, for instance.

If the Cavaliers want to continue running big lineups or running Isaac Okoro often at the 2, they will need both Garland and Rubio to play heavy minutes in the rotation to make it work.

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Both of them had meaningful past weeks, and Garland especially has begun filling his full potential. Now, Garland’s neck was reportedly sore on Tuesday following Cleveland’s loss on Monday versus Brooklyn after he took an elbow, so hopefully he can get right, though.