Here is the youth report for the week of January 27th through February 2nd.
Player of the Week: Collin Sexton
Averages this week: 23.3 points, 4.3 assists, 3 rebounds, 51.4 FG%, 37.5 3P%, 59.5 TS% in four games
No surprise to see Collin Sexton once again at the top of this list. Sexton’s willingness to pass has improved and he’s being rewarded, averaging 4.3 assists per game over his last ten appearances.
He’s not going to be confused for somebody that can run an offense. But this level of scoring and play making from the combo guard position is impressive if he can maintain it.
It all appears to be coming together for Sexton as of late. His efficiency is increasing as he gains a better understanding of what the defense is giving him. It’s also translated to his ability to get others involved and keep the ball moving.
The “isn’t playing as a point guard so how could he possibly get assists” excuse was always dumb. There have been plenty of opportunities for Sexton to make the easy play where he forced up a shot.
His turnaround started about two months earlier this season than it did last year. It’s scary to think of just how bad the Cavs offense could be if he wasn’t scoring at such a prolific rate.
Averages this week: 12.3 points, 5.3 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 36.6 FG%, 30.8 3P%, 43.3 TS% in three games
The rookie wall hit hard for Darius Garland. His struggles started on the Cavs road trip and it seemed as though he was unable to pull out of the tailspin.
After his worst performance of the year against Detroit on Monday, the team decided to rest Garland to see if that would help turn things around. While the efficiency still isn’t great, Garland performed better after some rest averaging 15.5 points and 6 assists for the rest of the week.
With Sexton shouldering the majority of the offensive load, I’d like to see Garland continue to try and run the offense and get the team into their sets. The process matters far more than the results at this point of the process.
As long as he continues to take the right shots and create opportunities for others, the team should be able to live with the fluctuation in efficiency. Adding strength and conditioning will undoubtedly be a priority for Garland this summer.
Kevin Porter Jr.
Averages this week: 15.5 points, 1.3 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 48.9 FG%, 45.5 3P%, 63.3 TS% in four games
The return of Kevin Porter Jr. has been a breath of fresh air for the Cavs. The hitch in his shot is still there, but he does appear to have a quicker release that he worked on during his time off.
Porter Jr. appears to be stronger that he was before his time off. But that may also just be the contrast between him and all the slender perimeter players being jarring upon his return.
There is no young player on this team more dynamic than Porter Jr. as a two way talent. He is a long guard, explosive athlete and has a deep bag of tricks in his offensive arsenal. Consistency is going to be the main thing to focus on throughout the second half of the season.
He can be a good defender at times, but has a tendency to gamble or foul. His shot has been good since his return, but how does he adjust when it isn’t falling.
Regardless of how he performs, his return to the lineup is a hell of a lot more captivating than trying to look for signs of promise with Dante Exum.
Averages this week: 8.5 points, 3.8 assists, 3.5 rebound, 42.4 FG%, 37.5 3P%, 51.5 TS% in four games.
It was a quiet week for Cedi, who was a lot less assertive offensively. His 2-7 shooting from three against the Raptors hurt the team’s ability to potentially steal a game against the defending champs.
But the real concern is the way that teams have targeted Osman defensively. He’s become a fairly consistent contributor offensively, at least for a role player. But his defense largely has been disappointing outside of a few steals and blocks that he comes up with.
Osman doesn’t regularly lose his man or get caught watching defensively. But he frequently is somewhat in position without actually impacting what the defender is doing offensively. He isn’t getting into their space and making them uncomfortable. Which often results in a barely effective contest against more polished offensive players.
There’s going to be times where he is overpowered or that an offensive player is too quick for him. But he could work on his aggressiveness defensively and work towards making players uncomfortable.
Stats as of Feb. 2.