Although the Cleveland Cavaliers are in third place in the Eastern Conference with a 17-10 record, there are some mild reasons to be concerned.
One of them is the play of All-Star point guard Darius Garland.
Over the last couple of weeks, he has had trouble with his shooting efficiency, and his overall shooting percentage on the season is down to 43.1 percent.
Is this a reason to actually be worried, or is this simply a slump?
Garland Has Been Somewhat Inconsistent This Season
The 22-year-old had a breakout season last year, averaging 21.7 points and 8.6 assists per game while shooting a solid 46.2 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from 3-point range.
So far this season, he has actually improved in the latter category to 39.4 percent, but he has regressed when it comes to his efficiency closer to the basket.
Coming into Saturday’s contest versus the Oklahoma City Thunder in which he shot only 3-of-9, Garland was making 57.4 percent of his shots from within three feet, compared to 60.7 percent last season.
Between 3 to 10 feet, his efficiency has fallen from 45.1 percent last year to just 37.9 percent this year, and that isn’t even the full extent of the drop in his marksmanship.
Darius Garland FG% against very tight defense (0-2 feet)
FG% taking 3-6 dribbles
FG% taking 7+ dribbles
FG% Touch 6+ seconds:
2022-23: 42.2% pic.twitter.com/Wx91WA5KJQ
— 🌪 (@HsgvensSon) December 11, 2022
Garland has also been unable to string together more than three games in a row in which he shot a good percentage from the field.
Consistency is often an issue for young stars such as him, and the onus is on him to find a way to minimize his bad shooting performances.
This issue is magnified even more right now since Donovan Mitchell, the Cavs’ best player, is out with a sore right lower leg.