The Cleveland Cavaliers have become playoff contenders this season after languishing at the bottom of the Eastern Conference for the past couple of years.
A huge reason for the team’s improvement is the play of All-Star point guard Darius Garland. The youngster’s leap to NBA stardom in the 2021-22 campaign has definitely caught the attention of many people across the league.
Teammate Kevin Love recently heaped praise upon Garland, stating that the point guard is “made for this” while noting the confidence that has allowed him to step up as a leader for the Cavs.
“He’s made for this,” Love said. “He’s built for it, and he has a confidence about him that has allowed him to step into a leadership role right away. He’s made a big leap this year, and it’s something seeing his work behind the scenes. It’s been amazing to see his confidence and his decision making, and how the game has slowed down for him.”
In Garland’s first two seasons in the league, he put up solid numbers. He had averages of 14.8 points and 4.9 assists per game. However, his fit in the Cavs’ backcourt with Collin Sexton was questioned by many because of the duo’s lack of size.
Sexton’s injury early in the 2021-22 season has provided Garland with more opportunities to showcase his scoring and playmaking abilities. In 57 games this campaign, the 22-year-old has averages of 21.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 8.5 assists per contest.
Due to his production and the Cavs’ success, Garland was named an All-Star back in February. After his first All-Star appearance, Garland has stepped up his game even more, posting 26.1 points and 10.9 assists per match in his past 10 games.
Cleveland looks set to earn its first postseason berth since the 2017-18 season. It currently ranks sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 41-30 record.
After a bit of a rough stretch, the team has now won two straight games. Hopefully, the Cavs can continue that momentum when they face the Los Angeles Lakers at home on Monday.