The up-and-down rookie season of Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland resulted in his omission from the NBA’s All-Rookie teams, an aggravating snub that Garland is using as motivation.
Spencer Davies of BasketballNews.com looked at how the Cavaliers are approaching the offseason. In the case of Garland’s continued development, the Cavaliers believe that Garland’s rookie season only scratched the surface of what he can offer the team
“We know there’s so much more left, we know there’s so much more there,” the team source said of Garland’s development. “He’s also been super locked in because he feels like he has so much more potential, so much more to offer. He also feels snubbed and disrespected by that All-Rookie team, which was absurd in a lot of regards. He’s a wonderful kid, too. Great worker. We’re excited about him and his potential. I think his best basketball is yet to come.”
Garland entered the NBA last year after having only played a handful of games at the collegiate level because of injury. In addition to getting back to full health, Garland also needed to get used to the daily grind of the NBA.
By the end of his abruptly shortened rookie season, Garland had delivered modest numbers of 12.3 points, 3.9 assists and 1.9 rebounds per game.
While Garland managed to connect for 105 3-pointers during the season, his shooting percentage of 35.5 from beyond the arc left room for improvement.
Garland doesn’t turn 21 years old until January, so he’s still young enough to take major strides with the rebuilding Cavaliers.
The All-Rookie snub, as well as advanced statistics depicting him as the NBA’s worst player, serves as a driving force for a player whose work ethic figures to speed up his development.
After two consecutive losing seasons, the Cavaliers will be expecting bigger things from Garland next season, and he appears focused on making sure those expectations are met.