Report: Big question around NBA is whether Collin Sexton and Darius Garland will work long term

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Even though the Cleveland Cavaliers have two talented young starters in the backcourt in Collin Sexton and Darius Garland, a new report suggests that some doubt exists about the duo’s chances for long-term success.

Zach Harper of The Athletic looked at some of the early trends of the 2020-21 NBA season, including a look at the question marks attached to the Cavaliers’ starting backcourt.

“One of the biggest questions people around the NBA have regarding the Cleveland Cavaliers is whether the backcourt of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton works long term,” Harper wrote. “The backcourt Cavs fans have so brilliantly shortened to ‘Sexland’ since Garland was taken with the fifth pick in the 2019 draft hasn’t had much time on the court together. Sexton enters his third season and Garland is coming off a pretty brutal rookie campaign. Throw in the pandemic cutting their season off in mid-March and the duo just doesn’t have much going for it.”

The lack of size in comparison to that of other NBA guards is seen as one problem for Sexton and Garland, along with the short period they’ve had to establish chemistry.

Despite those two issues, Sexton and Garland have shown some promising signs that they’ll be able to mesh into a potent backcourt for the Cavs.

Sexton’s offensive production has increased and his overall game has improved steadily since his rookie campaign.

In the case of Garland, his rookie season last year not only ended abruptly due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he was also snubbed by All-Rookie team voters. The fact that Garland’s collegiate career consisted of just five games because of injury might serve as a reason for that bumpy rookie campaign.

How much Sexton and Garland progress by the end of the 2020-21 season will likely offer a clearer picture of their long-term viability as a duo. For now, the Cavaliers’ brain trust is keeping its fingers crossed that the pairing continues to show progress.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.