Darius Garland Could Be The Cleveland Cavaliers’ New King, Even With Donovan Mitchell Around


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This past Monday, the Cleveland Cavaliers faced down the Brooklyn Nets on their home court. Despite the roaring support of their fans and the valiant efforts late, the Nets still emerged victorious, with a score of 125-117. 

This marks the second loss in a row for the Cavs after a 5-game win streak. All things considered, what should have put a damper on their spirits only seemed to spur them on, with Darius Garland leading the charge.

Garland scored  46 points vs. Brooklyn, his second-highest score on record. Earlier this season he scored a total of 51 points against the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Despite the impressive showings, Donovan Mitchell, Garland’s teammate, seemed relatively unfazed by his performance. Rather, he expressed that this is what should be expected of the young point guard. 

“That’s Darius Garland. I mean, that’s the Darius we all know,” Mitchell offered. “He’s shown on multiple nights he’s capable of having nights like this. I think he took that challenge of defending Kyrie and then also going out there and leading us. A lot of respect for Darius and that’s the player he is. That’s the player who is one of the leaders of this team.”

Cav’s coach, J.B. Bickerstaff also preached a positive outlook for his team’s upcoming fixtures, despite the successive defeats. 

“I believe we can play with these teams,” he declared. “I think we did enough to give me confidence in that. I think we just waited too long to believe we could. You allow a team to get out to a lead like we did and it’s going to be difficult to come back and you have to be almost perfect.

“No matter the opponent, we’re capable of winning and we are capable of beating them. Those are the things that you have to go through. Look at that team and its veterans up and down. They’ve been through it, seen these exact same things happen to them and they learned. That’s what we will do.”

Garland is already showing signs of possibly becoming a Cavaliers great, already making history alongside his formers, James and Irving, as the only Cavs players to score at least 45 points in multiple games and becoming the fourth Cavs player in history (after James, Irving, and Walt Wesley) to score a 50-point game. 

Garland and Cavs are fighting to return Cleveland to its recent glory days. Fortunately for Cavs fans, this comes on the eve of the launch of the Ohio Sportsbook promos on January 1st, 2023. Wagers can now be placed on NBA games, and many Sportsbooks are offering promotion codes and bonuses for those who sign up early. The FanDuel sportsbook is one of many sites. They are also offering $100 in bonus bets along with a 3-month NBA League Pass subscription through their FanDuel Ohio promo code.

“I didn’t even know I had 50 until I went to the bench,” Garland said after his 50-piece. “No one told me and I wasn’t paying attention to anything, except trying to win the game. That’s the great thing about this group of guys. No one cares about individual numbers. It’s all about the team.”

Garland is especially keen on seeing his team progress to the playoffs without James. 

“Our guys want to make our own legacy. It’s a new look, a new feel. It’s a rebirth in Cleveland. It would mean a lot to all of us,” the guard remarked.

Unlike Irving who placed immense pressure on himself by trying to fill LeBron’s shoes while the four-time NBA champion was still playing in Miami, Garland seems determined to forge his own path with the Cavs

“I love the city of Cleveland, I love the people and organization, so it’s cool just being there,” he claimed. “It’s a lot of food spots that’s pretty good. The summers here are crazy: get on a boat and go on the lake. It’s just culture. It’s a big melting pot. Everyone gets along with everyone. A lot of people say it’s gloomy here all the time, but it’s gloomy in New York, too, right now. 

“I don’t think about LeBron and his legacy, I’m focused solely on working, improving, and making the team better. LeBron is a legend in Cleveland and the NBA and I have total respect for him, but I am focused on myself and my team”.

Garland has also attributed some of his success to his tutelage under his former teammate Ricky Rubio. 

“Going into my second year, he literally told me, ‘You have the keys, this is your team, you just have to drive the car’. That’s the analogy he gave me. I had to learn how to drive this car, with this team, coming in as one of the youngest guys on the team and I had to be the leader and talk the most. Being more vocal, being a leader, putting people where they want to be, and try to be the best on the court at all times.”

All things considered, regardless of Irving’s and James’ exit from the team, the Cavs are not left wanting. Garland has already proven he is more than capable of shepherding the team to contention in the upcoming seasons.