Darius Garland making Cavaliers history reveals why he is so important to winning

Darius Garland ushered in the modern era of Cleveland Cavaliers brilliance and has no intention of stopping now.

Charlotte Hornets v Cleveland Cavaliers
Charlotte Hornets v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages

The homegrown Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star Darius Garland has set another milestone in his young career.

Since joining the Cavaliers fifth overall in the 2019 draft, the Indiana native has redefined the organization's trajectory. After two subpar seasons, Garland broke out into stardom and became one of the league's premier playmakers and sharpshooters. After Garland's breakout year, Cleveland doubled down on his excellence and traded for Donovan Mitchell in the 2022 offseason. Together, the Cavs achieved their first 50-win season since 2018 and are on track to hold homecourt advantage for the second consecutive postseason.

Although Garland has fought through a difficult season, returning from injuries and falling into a slump, the young All-Star continues to set himself apart in Cavaliers history. In the 2021-22 season, Garland earned his first All-Star selection and became the first Cavalier draft pick to do it since Kyrie Irving. Earlier this season, Garland surpassed former teammate Cedi Osman for the fifth-most three-pointers made in franchise history.

In the Cavs' most recent 117-114 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers, Garland recorded his third double-double in a row with 14 points and 12 assists in 35 minutes of action. After repeated injuries sidelining DG, the young star has finally rediscovered his rhythm just in time for the playoffs. Garland's confidence has returned, and his performance placed him in Cavaliers history books once again.

Darius Garland makes Cleveland Cavaliers history again

There are still questions for Garland to answer before the playoffs, but his recent streak has helped rebuild his confidence and set him apart from his peers. With his efforts in the home win against Philly, Garland became the third Cavalier to eclipse 5,000 career points and 2,000 career assists before hitting 25 years old.

With this milestone, Garland joins an elite group of only LeBron James and Kyrie Irving as his company. The Cavs organization has a long history of stellar guards, including all-time great Mark Price, making Garland's accomplishment that much more outstanding. Garland and the Cavs have a lot to prove still in the coming postseason, and unlocking the best of Garland in the final stretch will be crucial for their chances at a deep run.

Once Mitchell joined the Cavs, he became the de-facto captain, and Garland selflessly took the role as the second option. The backcourt duo has been ridiculed for defensive limitations, but Mitchell has taken a major step forward as a defender, allowing Garland to focus on his offensive playmaking and shooting. When both players are confident and flowing in the offense, they open up countless opportunities for one another time after time.

Due to injuries, the two stars have not played together as much as the team hoped, but they have nonetheless been dominant and efficient when they share the court. In 31 games and 638 minutes together this season, the two-man lineup of Garland and Mitchell has a 6.0 net rating. Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff has staggered Garland's and Mitchell's minutes in order to maximize the value and gravity of both players, but they will likely have to share the court more often in the playoffs to overcome tight games.

In short, the Cavaliers are at their best when Garland is on the court and feeling his best. Without Garland this season, the Cavs managed to rally together behind Mitchell and bring themselves to the second seed in the Eastern Conference. Bickerstaff reinvented Cleveland's offense entirely, meaning Garland would have to make major adjustments when he came back. Since Garland's return, the Cavs have continued to be beaten down with injury and have not been able to build any momentum for Garland to find his place in the new-look offense. his latest three-game stretch signals a positive shift ahead of the postseason.

Although we recently discussed possible trades for Darius Garland if Cleveland's playoff run falls apart, the negativity toward Garland's long-term fit as a Cavalier may thankfully age like milk on a hot summer day. The success the Cavs have enjoyed over the last few seasons was ignited by Garland's emergence as a star.

As Garland gains momentum and continues to make Cavaliers history alongside Mitchell and a dominant frontcourt, Cleveland and fans will have a lot to celebrate in years to come.

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