Sunday could be 1st of many All-Star nods for Cavs’ Darius Garland

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports)
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports) /

On Sunday, the 71st NBA All-Star Game is set to tipoff at 8 PM EST, and the Cleveland Cavaliers have been playing host to the festivities. All-Star Weekend has been underway, and thus far, we’ve seen Isaac Okoro and Evan Mobley as winners in the Clorox Rising Stars Challenge on Friday, where they competed with Team Barry, and Mobley, Darius Garland and Jarrett Allen represented the Cavs in the Taco Bell Skills Challenge on Saturday. That group got the W in that one, too.

As a Cavs fan, it’s been cool to see Cleveland as the host once again, with this being the first time for me personally where it’ll make an imprint. Cleveland hosted the All-Star festivities back in 1997, and in 1981, and in the ’97 edition, the NBA honored the 50th Anniversary Team for the league, which I’m sure was great to see for fans. I was two years old at the time, though, so I can’t say I have recollection of that.

This go-round, anyway, Cleveland has seemingly been a great host for All-Star Weekend, and during halftime of Sunday night’s All-Star Game itself, it’ll be awesome to see the league’s 75th Anniversary Team honored, again with Cleveland playing host.

But from a Cavaliers’ perspective, with the All-Star Game in mind and the current Wine and Gold squad, I believe this could very well be the first of several, or even many All-Star appearances for Garland. That’s not to knock Mobley, who could have superstar potential for Cleveland, and Allen could make several All-Star games himself potentially.

With the Year 3 leap we’ve seen from Garland, who has had 20.3 points and 8.0 assists per game this season, after a bounce-back year last season, I could see him becoming a regular in the All-Star Game from here, however.

Sunday could be the first of many All-Star appearances for Garland, who will be repping the hometown Cavs on Sunday.

Simply put, Garland is on the player on the rise for the Cavaliers, and with how the team appears to be turning a corner this year, the young lead guard is just getting started.

Now, some of Garland’s increased splits have had to do with injuries to Collin Sexton and then Ricky Rubio, admittedly.

But coming into the season, many seemed to believe Garland could be in-line for a breakout season. Him playing for the Team USA Select Team and eventually receiving some fill-in Team USA exhibition run before the Tokyo Olympics played some into that, too.

Needless to say, Garland has delivered as well, and he’s one of the crucial reasons why the Wine and Gold have been one of the league’s most surprising teams.

With his shot creation abilities, feathery touch in the on and off-ball sense, and with his continued progression as a playmaker, Garland seems set to potentially be an All-Star regular.

He’s one of just four players this season to be averaging 20-plus points and eight-plus assists per contest this season, putting him in elite company with Trae Young, Luka Doncic and James Harden.

He’s also taken it up a notch with his efficiency after building that from last season, with an effective field goal shooting clip of 55.5 percent, and has connected on a still solid 37.8 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. That’s been on a robust 6.8 attempts per game.

It’ll be great to watch Garland put some of his skills on display for Team LeBron on Sunday night, and his lobs to Jarrett Allen will be fun to see, especially with Cleveland hosting the game itself.

Next. Grades for Cavs in Rising Stars Challenge. dark

The way things are trending, this looks to be the first of many All-Star games for DG; we’ll have to see on the Fro, but he’s clearly just getting going as well.