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Collin Sexton hasn’t been at his best since the Nets series

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Sexton’s stats have taken a dive since his breakout performance against the Nets.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

February started off bright for the young, fearless and diehard Cleveland Cavaliers. After back-to-back dramatic wins against the newly-assembled, superscoring Brooklyn Nets, the Cavs were flying high on their own supply.

Collin Sexton was at the helm and “Back on the Map,” navigating the team through uncharted territory like a migratory bird instinctively knowing the path back home. In a boastfully-penned soliloquy posted to the Players’ Tribune, Sexton took the time to remind us of his map — where he’d been and precisely where he was headed. It was then, in that very moment, he and the Cavs found themselves drastically off course. Jetlagged, upside down and confused, Sexton — once in solid V Formation — turned around and found his team in a rapid freefall.

After notching a career-high 42 points to lift the Cavaliers over the Nets in double over-time, it could be that Sexton flew too close to the sun. He and his Cavs fell swiftly into the Pacific Ocean over the course of a treacherous trip out West. The Cavs have a long journey ahead, and it’s Sexton who must work quickly to guide his team on their way back home.

The six-foot-two guard has two skills that set him apart in the NBA — incredible speed and his ability to convert on drives. After his attention-grabbing performances against Brooklyn, Sexton was cruising at high altitude and garnering All-Star consideration from around the league.

Post Brooklyn, Sexton has struggled and so have the Cavs. Here’s a look at his stats through the Nets series and after.

Sexton stats

Going into Nets series Post Nets series
Going into Nets series Post Nets series
53% 45%%
19.5 15.9
51% 33%
4.7 2.8
26.8 19.9
4.2 4.3
Stats via nba.com/stats

Once averaging over 26 points per game, Sexton is now averaging just under 20 points per game in the games following the Brooklyn sweep. He’s seen a dip in three-point shooting as well. Through Jan. 22, (Cavs second win against the Nets), Sexton was shooting 51% from beyond-the-arc. Post-Brooklyn, Sexton is shooting just 35% from long distance. What’s even more baffling is his three-point attempts, which have averaged just 2.8 since Jan 24.

Overall this season, Sexton averages 1.5 three-pointers per game, good enough for 134th in the league. And let me remind you, he’s the team’s shooting guard with Darius Garland handling a large chunk of the team’s traditional point guard duties. Over the last three games (Trail Blazers, Clippers and Warriors), the Cavs went 23 of 78 from three while their opponents went 43 of 102. Over that stretch, Sexton shot just 2 of 8 from beyond-the-arc.

Sexton wasn’t named an All-Star starter — which was expected — on Thursday and will likely be on the outside looking in on the All-Star game this year. The Cavs have been dismal since Brooklyn; two wins and 12 losses is bleak.

Sexton is Cleveland’s best player, there’s no doubt about that. But what does that mean for a team that is in the midst of an eight-game losing streak and ranked dead-last in offense?