The Cleveland Cavs are fresh off a home loss to the Utah Jazz 109-108. The young team is now staring at a 13-11-win loss record – tied with the Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets in the Eastern Conference.
The Cavs have had one of the most brutal schedules in the league – in three of their past four games. Before tonight’s loss, they have recorded wins against the Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat and the Washington Wizards.
Many were unsure of how the Cavs would fare after their team leader, guard Collin Sexton, had a season-ending injury back on 11/7 against the New York Knicks. Sexton suffered a left meniscus tear.
Since Sexton went down, the Cavs have maintained a 7-7 record with many key wins despite injuries to key players like Lauri Markkanen, Jarrett Allen and Evan Mosley along the way.
The Cavs have been able to grind out wins due to a great team effort, especially on the road. Since Sexton’s injury, they have won four of their last five games. However, the team has been able to find success primarily due to the effort of guard Darius Garland.
DG has elevated his play to 21.4 points per game while dishing out seven assists in the absence of Sexton. For the month of December so far, he’s been putting up 26.3 points with a consistent seven assists per contest.
Garland’s consistent play has helped elevate the performances of those around him. Most notable is the play of center Jarrett Allen. This one-two punch has become a problem for opponents. Allen has lifted his play to 21 points, 12 rebounds, shooting 72% from the field since Garland stepped up to lead the team.
With Garland’s leadership and the Cavaliers’ improved performance this season, I hope to see some All-Star considerations come his way if the play continues.
Photo Courtesy of the Tennessean.com