While the Cavaliers season has been a long and painful experience, some of the youth movement has given the fan base and the organization hope as they head forward in the post-Lebron era.
Collin Sexton, the first-round pick and final piece of the Kyrie Irving trade started out slow but his recent play in the second half of the season has made a lot of people backpedal their hot takes about the point guard.
Sexton has scored 20 points or more in five consecutive games, breaking the team’s rookie record set by Lebron James in 2003-2004 who only had four consecutive 20-point games.
In the past five games, Sexton is averaging 26.4 points per game including 28 in the most recent game Saturday night against Dallas. It seems as though the game is starting to really slow down for him after hitting the rookie wall earlier this year.
In 12 games since the All-Star Break, Sexton is averaging 19.8 points on 45.6% shooting and 42% from three-point distance. In the 58 games before the All-Star Break, Sexton was averaging 15 points per game on 40.8% shooting and 39.2% from three-point distance.
For the entire season (70 games), Sexton is averaging 15.9 points, 3 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game with 41.7% shooting and 40.2% from three.
In comparison to Kyrie Irving’s rookie season, Irving played in 51 games and averaged 18.5 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game with 46.9% shooting and 39.9% from three.
He has played the most minutes out of any rookie and currently sits third in scoring among rookies only behind Dallas’ Luka Doncic and Atlanta’s Trae Young.
His three-point shot has been the one aspect of his game that has taken the biggest jump and in doing so, Sexton broke Kyrie Irving’s franchise rookie record of 73 three-pointers made. Sexton sits currently with 90 and with 12 games to play, he should run away with setting the new established mark.
His play along with the Cavaliers recent stretch despite their 17-53 record has been encouraging because you’ve seen the team make strides yet still not winning to maintain their draft lottery positioning to ensure their spot in the top three.
I don’t think Sexton can carry the franchise which I don’t think was ever the plan when the organization selected him with the eighth pick last June but if he can be that solid #2 or #3 guy going forward if the Cavaliers can land a Zion Williamson or RJ Barrett in this year’s draft, you’d have to feel good about the Cavs direction going forward.
Pairing Sexton with one of those draft prospects along with Kevin Love who has shown since his All-Star ability since returning from injury could help the Cavaliers get back to the postseason a lot quicker than people thought they would once Lebron James left.