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Cleveland Cavaliers Youth Report: Collin Sexton continues scoring at will

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The Cavs sophomore guard has made up for his shortcomings with efficient scoring.

NBA: Cleveland Cavaliers at Memphis Grizzlies Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Here is the youth report for the week of January 13th through January 19th.

Player of the Week: Collin Sexton

Averages this week: 23.8 points, 3.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 48.7 FG%, 50 3P%, 63.1 TS% in four games

It’s hard not to be impressed by the past week for Collin Sexton. The points are obviously the first thing that jumps out, but the renewed confidence in the outside shot is the most important thing.

While the percentage will obviously come down, Sexton still averaged 5.5 three-point attempts over the last week. If Sexton truly wants to realize his potential as a combo guard he’ll need to keep his three point rate high. Even if he isn’t a 40% shooterfrom deep, it’ll still be important in order for him to achieve an acceptable true shooting percentage.

He’s currently a 38.2% three-point shooter for his career, so if his actual ability is anywhere around that, that’s a shot he should be taking instead of a midrange or forced shot at the rim. When defenders are forced to account for his outside shot, his quickness makes getting past the first line of defense relatively easy in most matchups.

It’s been 14 games since Jordan Clarkson was traded, leaving Collin Sexton with the bulk of the offensive responsibility. He’s averaging 22.5 points on a 55.8 true shooting percentage over that period. There’s plenty of room to grow and warts to address, but his ability as a scorer should receive more credit than it’s received to this point.

Darius Garland

Averages this week: 14.3 points, 6.3 assists, 1.5 rebounds, 40 FG%, 32 3P%, 49.8 TS% in four games

The turnovers were back up for Garland after multiple weeks of an assist to turnover ratio greater than 2:1. He averaged 4.3 turnovers per game over the last week, cratered largely by his eight turnover performance against the Bulls.

On a positive note, the play making still looks a whole lot better overall and there are plenty of reasons to be encouraged. The flashes of brilliance are becoming more regular and we are seeing stretches of Garland as a floor general.

That being said, there is one trend from this week to keep an eye on with Garland. After starting strong in most games, his second half performances have been where the wheels have gone off the tracks.

In fact, Garland is averaging 8.8 points in the first half while shooting 51.7 percent from the floor and 45.5 percent from deep this past week. It’s possible that he is adjusting to the increased responsibility.

This also is occurring during the longest road trip of the season during a week that featured two back to backs. But regardless of the reason, his decision making at the end of games certainly could use some work.

Garland didn’t close games for the Cavs until the Jordan Clarkson trade. So it’s not a shock to see him struggle in crunch time when the Cavs are actually in those moments. Keeping games close so Garland and the other young guys can experience meaningful minutes and learn from these mistakes should be viewed as a positive.

Cedi Osman

Averages this week: 14 points, 1 assist, 3.5 rebounds, 47.4 FG%, 54.2 3P%, 68.2 TS% in four games.

Hard not to be pleased with Cedi Osman’s production for much of the season. He’s settled is as a solid rotation player and has benefited from the improved play making of the team’s guards.

The defensive consistency still isn’t where it needs to be, but he does have stretches of solid play on that end of the floor.

A solid three point shooter that can play solid positional defense, but not raise the defensive floor of a lineup appears to be what Osman is. I’d like to see him get a bit more time with the second unit to function as a play maker, however that’s tough to pull off given how thin the Cavs are at the small forward position.

Dante Exum

Averages this week: 2.5 points, 1.5 assist, 2 rebounds, 21.4 FG%, 14.3 3P%, 30 TS% in four games.

The best thing I can say about Exum this week is that he managed to play all four games. He made his return from battling the flu and played through an ankle injury, but this was an incredibly forgettable week for Exum.

Stats as of Jan. 19