Remember the days when Darius Garland was statistically the worst player in the NBA? All the talk about why the Cleveland Cavaliers took another guard with Collin Sexton in the fold? What about him being labeled as a bust? Blah, blah, blah. That has all turned out to be a bunch of nonsense.
Since his rookie season, Garland has done nothing but improve. From his All-Star season in 2022 to being the only player in the league last season to average 20 points per game, seven assists per game, and shoot 40 percent from three, he has asserted himself as a top guard in the NBA. However, Garland is only scratching the surface of how good he can be.
If the Cavs want to take another step towards contention, Garland needs to continue his ascension as one of the best point guards in the NBA. Here are three goals Garland should have this season.
In 2022, Garland broke out, and was one of the Cavs’ two All-Star representatives, joining center Jarrett Allen. During that season, Garland averaged about 22 points per game, and about nine assists on 46 percent from the field and 39 percent from the field. He was a huge reason why the Cavs made the Play-In Tournament and improved their win total from 22 to 44, leading to a Play-In berth.
Last season, his numbers stayed about the same, and as was said before, he was the only player in the league to average 20 PPG, seven APG, and shoot 40 percent from three. However, Garland did not make the All-Star team, as Cleveland’s only All-Star representative was Donovan Mitchell.
Garland arguably should have made it over now Celtics guard Jrue Holiday, as Garland averaged more points, assists, and shot a higher percentage from three-point range. But, this season, I expect Garland’s numbers to improve further, leading to another All-Star appearance. Albeit a small sample size, the Cavaliers offense in the preseason looks much more diversified than it was last season, especially when it comes to movement, as the team has reportedly emphasized.
Garland has much more space to operate as a playmaker, and has had more open looks as a result. Expect that to yield another season filled with All-Star numbers.