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Youth Report: Darius Garland is finding his groove

The Cavs rookie point guard is getting more comfortable.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Denver Nuggets Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Here is the youth report for the week of January 6th through January 12th.

Player of the week: Darius Garland

Averages this week: 17.3 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 47.6 FG%, 33.3 3P%, 58.2 TS% in three games

The assist numbers for Darius Garland are starting to get my attention. In the eight games since his stinker against the Boston Celtics he is averaging 5.3 assists and 2.4 turnovers per game. Over that time he has an assist percentage of 21.3%, to go along with a usage rate of 19.5%.

The difference is night and day for Garland. He appears to have played his way into shape, after a summer that was more about rehab than prep for his rookie campaign. The game is moving slower, and he’s moving quicker as his ability to keep the dribble alive and see what the defense is giving him is improving his efficiency as a scorer and passer.

I’m still not in love with him how often he goes to his floater, but it’s a much more controlled shot than we saw earlier in the season. He used to get into the lane and throw up a panicked floater. But his form on floaters is now more consistent and when he goes to it vs. passing or bringing the ball back out has been good to see.

His confidence appears to be through the roof and we’re seeing the flashes of brilliance more frequently by the game. It’s hard not to get excited by his play recently.

Collin Sexton

Averages this week: 21.3 points, 1.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds, 44.6 FG%, 50 3P%, 53 TS% in three games

Sexton had a very poor game against Detroit at home, but ended up playing a key role in their road wins over Detroit and Denver. Yes there were head-scratching moments, but he made up for it with timely baskets and a few big defensive plays.

The game against Denver was probably the ideal role for Sexton. He was aggressive off ball and was acting as a play-finisher more than an initiator.

The emergence of Garland makes it more feasible to play Sexton in this role. Early in the year, Garland’s confidence and production made it impossible to trust him in that role. As a result, having Sexton handle the ball in the half court was necessary.

A lack of vision isn’t the end of the world for Sexton, as long as he’s being decisive when he has the ball. Someone should slide some tape of the mid 2010s Spurs where players would either shoot or move the ball within a second or two under his door. But the Denver game was an encouraging step in the right direction.

Cedi Osman

Averages this week: 13 points, 2.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, 48.5 FG%, 28.6 3P%, 54.7 TS% in three games.

Call him steady Osman, because he’s been a pretty solid rotation player for the Cavs this year.

Over his last 82 games Cedi Osman is shooting 38.4 percent from three on 4.9 attempts per game. Osman came into last season with talk of a remade outside shot, and shot well before dealing with back pain in November and December. While there are certainly hot and cold streaks like with any shooter, the sample size is large enough where we can have some faith in this three point shooting sticking around.

The defense is unremarkable, but not bad. While his role is still too large for his skill set, he is very rarely the reason the Cavs lose games. There’s been a few ups and downs this season, but he is becoming more reliable and consistent.

Stats as of Jan. 12