J.B. Bickerstaff thinks Darius Garland has ‘taken off’ after seeing his offensive improvements this season

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff recently offered high praise for the offensive improvements shown by third-year guard Darius Garland.

Bickerstaff is especially impressed by Garland’s commitment to improving his game, stating that it’s indicative of players who take a giant step forward in their development.

“I think that’s where you see guys become special,” Bickerstaff said. “All these guys have an amazing skill set, or they wouldn’t be here. I think there’s a group that separates themselves because they have a commitment to being great and a willingness to do all the things that it takes to get there. And Darius puts the time in. He listens when you talk to him about what he needs to do. And then he has the ability to implement it as well. So, again, it’s a testament to him.”

Garland has established new career-highs in multiple categories during the early portion of the Cavs’ 2021-22 campaign, and Bickerstaff has clearly noticed.

“I think he has taken off,” Bickerstaff said. “If you look at what he’s done, I mean, he’s been special, to say the least, for our team and exactly what our team needs. And that’s the most important thing is like, he’s playing within the confines of what’s best for the team.”

Garland is just 21 years of age, yet his growing leadership is a welcome sight for a Cavaliers team that’s showing improvement from its three previous miserable seasons.

For this season, Garland is averaging 19.1 points, 7.3 assists, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game. He’s also working with and offering advice to new players like Evan Mobley.

Garland’s overall improvement is one reason why the Cavaliers currently have a 13-10 season record, with a Sunday home contest against the Utah Jazz next on the schedule.

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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.