Cavs’ Sexton continues improvement after rough start to rookie season

Cleveland's rookie point guard turned to his dad for help after stumbling out of the gates

Jake Kauffman
November 17, 2018 - 2:47 pm
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Collin Sexton (2) celebrates a three-point shot during the first half against the Charlotte Hornets at Quicken Loans Arena.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

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The Young Bull had looked like the Young Calf as the Wine and Gold’s rookie point guard attempted to gain his footing his rookie year in Cleveland. Collin Sexton had rough nights shooting the ball, passing the ball, and holding onto the ball but something’s changed in the Alabama product the past few games and he credits some tips from the Old Bull, his dad.

“I’ve been working on my three especially here in practice and my dad, he helped me correct some certain things that I need to improve on. Just the mechanics and stuff like that,” said the Cavs rookie, as he gets ready for a matchup Monday in Detroit against the Pistons. “He watches the games all the time and knows how I make shots so it was easy for him to correct it.”

Larry Drew has only been the head coach of Sexton for a few games but he’s seen an improvement in his point guard that reminded him of Jeff Teague who Drew worked with in Atlanta.

“When I first started working with Jeff Teague, I wouldn’t say their games are similar but they both play the point guard position and their responsibilities are the same,” Drew said. “With Teague, he was a little bit more quieter than Colin was which made it that much more tough, Colin’s a little bit more vocal but I see some similarity as far as what has to be learned, what has to be taught as well. ”

During his time in Atlanta, Drew said it took some time for Jeff Teague to become vocal but the rest of his game followed and Drew thinks Sexton will start to thrive soon in Cleveland because talking is not an issue with the rookie.

“I see a lot of similarities in both guys as far as coming into the league having to learn the things they have to learn particularly at that position because that’s a tough position,” Drew said. “You have to know pretty much everything out there on the floor, you almost have to know all spots, all positions but as long as they’re willing to learn it takes away some of the complications.”

Since Sexton doesn’t have to worry about the vocal component, he’s just been focusing on improving his stroke from the three-point line when the opportunities arise for the rookie.

“I feel like if they’re sagging off, I’m gonna have to be able to knock it down especially now that teams going under screens,” says Sexton.

Coach Drew has faith in Sexton even though the rookie has gone through some early growing pains in the NBA and wants his point guard to keep improving his three-point shot.

“If he’s got good looks, I don’t mind him letting it go. What I am encouraging him in is when the three is a good shot and when it’s not. We’ve made 4-5 trips up and down the floor and come away empty handed. The open shot at the three point line may not be the best shot at that time when you really need a basket so that’s something we’ve talked about and shown him on the film and he’s very receptive.”

However his Cleveland teammates have not been receiving many passes from the rookie point guard as he’s only averaging 2.3 assists so far this season for the Cavaliers but Sexton knows more assists will come if he’s making the right plays.

“I’m just taking what the defense gives me and if I have to shoot it, I shoot but I look for the pocket pass first or second, it just doesn’t matter, I have to go out there and play the game,” said Sexton. “You can’t go out there and think it’s my time to score.”

If Sexton’s remarkable improvement in a short amount of time on the Cavaliers is any indication, Coach Drew knows it won’t be long before his rookie point guard settles into a consistent groove.

“Playing the point guard position, that’s a lot to put on a young guy’s shoulders and

something that doesn’t happen overnight as far as them learning everything and being totally comfortable with everything. They’re out there trying to please me, trying to please teammates and I’m sure they have a lot on their mind but Colin’s picking it up and I’m starting to see that he’s getting comfortable.”

The Young Bull has also started to see himself get comfortable in the NBA as he and the Cavaliers hope to start racking up a few more wins.

“I feel like I’m starting to get into a flow, once you play games you start to realize what you can and can’t do,” Sexton said. “I just got to keep (the other teams) honest, keep them on their heels, can’t let them know what I’m gonna do each time.”

Although the Young Bull’s game has change drastically since his first game a few weeks ago, Sexton says he’s still the same point guard the Cavs took with the 8th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.

“I just feel like I improved and I’m going to continue to learn, I’ve been watching a lot of film on stuff I need to improve on so I just keep going.”

Sexton and the Cavaliers hit the court next on Monday night in Detroit as they look for their first road win of the season against the Pistons.