The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the brightest young teams in the NBA, and arguably the biggest reason why is Darius Garland.
The point guard made his first All-Star team this past season by averaging 21.7 points and 8.6 assists per game while shooting 38.3 percent from 3-point range.
— Courtside Films (@CourtsideFilms) July 18, 2022
Garland has grown tremendously in several facets of the game in a short amount of time, and he has gone from someone who averaged just 3.9 assists a game as a rookie to arguably one of the very best passers in the sport.
With Garland running the point, and perhaps significant room for improvement ahead for him, the Cavs are in very good shape moving forward.
What are three things we should expect from him during the 2022-23 season?
Garland Will Comfortably Average Over 20 Points Per Game
The Vanderbilt University product isn’t just a gunner – he is an efficient scorer who has also developed into a very adept ball-handler.
Maybe he’s not as great a ball-handler as former Cav Kyrie Irving, who could be the greatest ever in that department, but he has become very capable of efficiently scoring in one-on-one and iso situations.
Anyone who may think Garland upped his scoring mostly because Collin Sexton missed most of the season clearly either hasn’t been paying attention or is underrating the former fifth pick in the 2019 draft.
Garland has also become a good 3-point shooter, and he can still become better in that area.
One area where he greatly improved this past season was his mid-range game, as he went from 39.3 percent to 49.7 percent on shots from 10-16 feet away.
If head coach J.B. Bickerstaff decides to let the Cavs get out and run while committing to an up-tempo game, Garland’s scoring could even go up a notch or two.
Garland Will Make Life Easier For Evan Mobley
Mobley is a big man who perhaps should’ve won the Rookie of the Year award, and many feel he has superstar potential written all over him.
He averaged 15.0 points and 8.3 rebounds per game in the 2021-22 season, and if he ever develops a strong jumper with range out to the 3-point line, the sky will be the limit for him.
Until then, and even after that, Garland will be by Mobley’s side to spoon-feed him easy baskets at the rim, whether it’s in transition, off lob passes or dribble penetration.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) January 27, 2022
Some have called Garland a generational passer, and that type of point guard tends to be a big man’s best friend by getting him several extra points per game.
The dynamic between Garland and Mobley could become reminiscent of that between Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol, and Cleveland fans hope the results will be similar.
Garland Will Help Ochai Agbaji Build His Confidence
Agbaji, the 14th overall pick in last month’s NBA draft, is thought to have the potential to become a very reliable 3-and-D wing, the likes of which the Cavs could really use.
But Agbaji is also very athletic, making him a big threat at the rim.
Christian Braun with the perfect lob pass to Ochai Agbaji who somehow finishes the dunk over the defender! pic.twitter.com/53sjO4Dgtw
— Aram Cannuscio (@AC__Hoops) November 28, 2021
Look for Garland to set him up, both in transition and on lob passes, and get him some easy baskets that will help him build confidence and hopefully embolden him to play the type of top-notch defense Cleveland needs from the wing spot.