Predicting Darius Garland’s stat line with Cavs in 2022-23 season

Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

Following a huge third-year leap, Darius Garland keeps raising the bar for himself and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He is quickly becoming one of the best young players in basketball and his numbers back it up.

In wake of Collin Sexton’s injury early in the season, Garland was asked to take on a larger role than anticipated. He accepted the challenge and made an All-Star out of himself. If you watched him during his first two seasons in the league you could tell he had the traits to be a star, he just needed the opportunity and that’s exactly what he was given last year.

In 68 games last season, Darius Garland averaged a career-high in points per game (21.7), assists (8.6), rebounds (3.3), steals (1.3), and field goal percentage (46.2%). He took his game to a completely different level and the Cavaliers reaped the rewards, finishing with their best record without LeBron James since 1998.

This coming season, the All-Star guard will have more help in the backcourt. The Cavs acquired three-time All-Star Donovan Mitchell this offseason via trade, bolstering the star power on the team and relieving some of the playmaking pressure that Garland dealt with in 2021-22.

Mitchell is expected to be the #1 scoring option for Cleveland this season, given his elite skill set. In my opinion, he’s one of the best “bucket getters” in the NBA.

He averaged 25.9 points per game with the Utah Jazz last season, ranking ninth in the league. While I do expect those numbers to dip a bit, I don’t think he will take a backseat in the scoring department to Garland. Mitchell has never averaged below 20.5 points per game in his career and averages 19.4 shot attempts per game. He is going to make sure he gets his.

So, how does this affect Darius Garland? Well, I don’t think Garland’s scoring takes a huge hit, either. I expect him to put up a healthy amount of points for the rest of his career simply because he is elite at putting the ball in the basket.

For a player that looks to pass the ball more often than not, he ranked 18th in the league in points per game last season. But, as I mentioned before, he looks to pass often and he is outstanding at it. His 8.6 assists per game ranked sixth in the NBA in 2021-22.

So taking everything into account, what sort of numbers should we expect Garland to have for the Cavs in 2022-23?

He is among the best scorers and passers in basketball, making him one of the scariest players in the league when he has the ball. I don’t think the Cavaliers want to take the ball out of his hands very often, no matter who he shares the floor with.

I predict that Garland will average around 20 points per game, 10 assists, and 2.5 rebounds while shooting 47% from the field, 40% from three, and 90% from the free throw line.

He might take a dip in raw scoring numbers, but I expect to see an increase in overall efficiency given the anticipated increase in open looks with Mitchell on the floor.

I believe the offense will continue to run through Garland, no matter if he’s setting up teammates for easy looks in pick-and-rolls and drive-and-kicks, or if he’s looking to create his own shot for a quick bucket.

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He is the best playmaker on the team and I believe the coaching staff continues to use him as such.