Contending season – Year 4
Last year, Garland played the same, if not better than his All-Star season. He averaged 21.6 points, 7.8 assists, and 2.7 rebounds per game. He also shot 46.2 percent from the field, a career-high 41.0 percent from distance, and 86.3 percent from the free throw line.
The Cavaliers were one of the best NBA teams last year, and finished the year as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference. Overall, they were tied with the Grizzlies for 5th place in total wins last year. The fact that the Cavaliers surprised a lot of the NBA world was incredible, as a lot of people did not assume that they would have home court advantage come playoff time.
Statistically, Garland was one of the best guards last year. He ranked seventh in assists per game as well as total assists. He also ranked 18th in total turnovers, which is worth noting, considering how many assists he averages. He’s a really smart passer, and has shown so much improvement when it comes to sharing the basketball since his rookie season.
Garland didn’t play too well in the playoffs against the New York Knicks, but to be fair, it was his first ever NBA playoff series, so it isn’t the end of the world that he didn’t play the best. In his five games against the Knicks, he averaged 20.6 points, 5.0 assists, and 1.8 rebounds. He also shot 43.8 percent from the field and 38.7 percent from distance, which is below his average.
Garland played in 69 games, which is a career-best in games played. Considering that he missed five games in the beginning of the year for an eye injury, as well as the Cavaliers not playing Garland for a few games near the end for rest, he was really healthy last season.
Next season, Darius Garland could be an All-Star, and has all the talent in the world to be on an All-Star team, as well. His progression from his rookie season all the way to today is terrific, and he’s still super young. His passing, scoring, shooting, and practically everything has continued to get better and better, and next year, he should be the best player he’s ever been.
Next year, his max contract will kick in, and it’s safe to say that he will likely earn himself a few more hefty contracts before his career is all said and done.