The Cleveland Cavaliers point guard is an important player as he connects two vastly different styles of play.
J.B. Bickerstaff has referred to Darius Garland as a unifier. Not to step on his toes or outright steal his term, but another way to deserve Garland is a connector. A much needed bridge between styles of play for the Cavaliers. From here on out he will be referred to as The Connector.
Darius Garland is usually manning backcourt duties with the other half of Sexland, Collin Sexton. Sexton is a fantastic scorer and has shown multiple times this season that he can carry the scoring load when necessary. The one thing that he is not known for is being a distributor of the basketball, but that’s not a bad thing. Sexton is not a point guard and that’s fine, there’s a reason why Cavs drafted Darius Garland to pair with Sexton.
Having a guard that is an excellent passer is a necessity. Darius Garland is a better passer than Sexton and can impact the game without having to shoot the basketball. This impact has been seen with the arrival of Jarrett Allen from Brooklyn as the two have shown tremendous chemistry on the court in only limited minutes.
Additionally, when Cleveland has Darius Garland on the floor and Sexton off they are able to have him run the offense. While Garland is not and may never be the most talented player on the team, it is certainly possible he becomes the most important due to his Connector status. Being able to be an impact player with both the starters and bench players helps reinforce his title as The Connector. Garland connects the styles of play and specific skill sets of all of the players on the team. Having players like Garland make a huge difference over the course a season and eventually the playoffs.
Versatility, flexibility, and connectivity are exactly what the Cavs get with Darius Garland. Being able to mesh styles of play and the strengths of certain players together shows why the second year guard is so crucial to their success. Garland should prove to be a key player for Cleveland as they continue to build their foundation for the future.