The Cleveland Cavaliers found themselves with the 5th overall pick after winning only 19 games. With the pick, they selected point guard Darius Garland out of Vanderbilt, a crafty young guard whom the Cavaliers thought had the highest ceiling of the players available at that spot. Upon hearing the selection, many fans aired their concern with drafting a point guard only a year after selecting Collin Sexton, but Garland is looking to prove those fans wrong.
Garland’s freshman season at Vanderbilt saw him playing in only five games before tearing his meniscus against the home-town Kent State University. In those five games, he showed an elite ability to score from anywhere on the court and showcased potential that’d see him propelled into the discussion of being a top draft selection despite the limited college exposure.
At the beginning of his rookie NBA season, Garland looked like he needed some time to adjust, looking a little lost at times on the floor against some of the best in the world. Darius seemed hesitant in his decision making and wasn’t attacking as he did in college. His shooting numbers were poor and he averaged nearly a turnover per assist.
Recently, however, Darius Garland has turned it up a notch.
He’s now averaging 16 points and six assists per game since the new year, which is nearly six points and three assists more than he’d been giving the Cavaliers in 2019.
His numbers have gone up, but the numbers don’t tell the whole story. Darius has been given minutes alongside the bench unit, where he began to play more aggressively and his field goal percentages continue to climb.
Garland has shown an especially crafty scoring ability, able to weave through defenders and score using a multitude of shot styles and from anywhere on the floor. Specifically, his step-back three-point shot and underhand layup, which show off his unique scoring abilities.
With Garland’s continued upward spiral, the sky’s the limit for the young guard. The Cavaliers are in good hands.