When the Cleveland Cavaliers signed Georges Niang in the offseason, it was not a shocker. Niang was a player that had been linked to the Cavaliers leading into free agency for his shooting, and near the outset of the league's moratorium period, he agreed to be brought on-board with Cleveland.
It was not all sunshine and rainbows out of the gates for Niang, though. He did not connect on a three-point shot until his fourth game with the Cavaliers, and in Niang's first eight appearances, he shot 27.0 percent from three. Granted, it was going to take some time for him to get comfortable in a new situation, and playing with a new set of teammates.
But, fortunately, as he's started to work the kinks out, the shot has been there.
He has also gotten some better and less rushed looks with the Cavs gradually getting healthier as it's pertained to their playmakers, and it's led to more positive results for Niang. In his last 10 appearances, Niang has hit 43.2 percent of his three-point attempts, on what's been 4.4 per contest, and has averaged 10.5 points in that span.
He seems to be trending up in the shooting aspect, and hopefully, that's something that pays dividends more and more getting into December and looking onward.
Niang is starting to pick it up for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Niang was adjusting to a new situation, and still is, to some degree, with Cleveland. With injuries at various points to key playmakers, and reshuffling of lineups, he took several games to get going with the Wine and Gold.
When he's been in games, while the Cavs as an overall unit have to be more consistent with their movement, Niang has typically been one of Cleveland's better off-ball movers, and as he's found his rhythm, the shots have been falling. Cleveland getting healthier as made a difference, but independent of that, as Niang has gotten more comfortable, he's found his sweet spots more, and has rushed shots less.
Now, there are some instances when Niang seems to be rushing shots, however, even with him in a role where there's going to be ups and downs, most of his looks in more recent weeks have been cleaner ones, and from more productive ball movement. In his last 10 games, Niang has connected on 41.7 percent of his catch-and-shoot three-point attempts, per NBA.com's shot tracking data.
As was stressed previously, those sort of clean looks were not nearly as prevalent early in the season, and generally, Niang was having to create for himself more. That's not really ideal, aside from at times, off of closeouts, which will come, just more naturally as counters here and there now.
Needless to say, it's been encouraging to see one of Cleveland's key offseason additions in Niang seem to be picking it up as the Wine and Gold are now about a quarter of the way into the 2023-24 campaign. Of course, the Cavaliers as an overall group have to keep steadily progressing as an overall group, and hopefully, the likes of Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell can get this group on the same page game-in and game-out after an inconsistent beginning of the year.
In any case, while it starts with Mitchell, Garland and Evan Mobley, if role guys like Niang can get going on a regular basis, that will make a big difference for the Cavs as a whole.