As mentioned, Garland has been an All-Star once before in 2022. While Garland’s averages dropped ever so slightly this last season, it also came with Donovan Mitchell at his side and an uptick in efficiency, especially on the perimeter.
With Garland having a prior All-Star appearance, he would usually be ahead of Mobley in likelihood for a second; however, the rising level of star guards in the East and his exclusion last season could make it difficult for Garland to earn the respect he deserves. Garland is undoubtedly an All-Star-level point guard, but there are only so many spots available. With the star power and attention that Donovan Mitchell demands naturally, Garland could be seen as the secondary backcourt player and have a hard time making the team.
It is not impossible for Garland to make it. He missed the first two weeks of the regular season last year due to an eye injury, and he still took time to return to form once he came back due to the blurred vision. With a shaky start to the season and Mitchell’s historic moments, Garland’s accolades were overshadowed at times. If Garland can enter this season on fire and build up his reputation again, then he will be in a position to remind the NBA why he is compared to legendary NBA point guards so often.
Finally, this Cavalier is looking to remind the NBA after some brutal criticisms following the playoffs.