3 Cavaliers players that need to step up in the second half of the season

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1. Darius Garland

Darius Garland has had an up and down season to no fault of his own. He had a nagging hamstring injury early in the season that caused him to miss some games, and he missed over a month due to a fractured jaw. That injury caused him to lose about ten pounds, forcing him to return to the team a few steps behind where he had been last season. As a result, Garland has not been able to find a rhythm.

Since his return on January 31, Garland is averaging 15 points and six assists per game. That is a far cry from his numbers of the last two seasons where he averaged over 20 points and seven assists. He is supposed to be the team’s bonafide second option but has yet to showcase that this season.

Fortunately, Garland has stepped up his play in his last two games. He is averaging 26 points and has made 15 threes as well. Garland is also shooting the ball about 22 times per game over that stretch. For him, it is about maintaining that level of aggressiveness on a more consistent basis. Defenses cannot ignore Garland anywhere on the floor, allowing him to punish over-commitment from help defenders and give his teammates easy looks.

In order for the Cavaliers to contend, they need Garland to round into the All-Star form he has shown in the last two seasons. The last two games are a good start, but he needs to keep building.

The Cleveland Cavalires have been full steam ahead for the last two months. That level of play, along with Strus, LeVert, and Garland stepping up, should make them a legitimate threat to anybody in the East playoffs.

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