Garland, Porter Jr. shine for Cavs in 120-89 win over San Lorenzo

The Cavaliers' youngsters were impressive on Monday night

James Rapien
October 07, 2019 - 8:18 pm
NDEPENDENCE, OHIO - SEPTEMBER 30: Darius Garland #10 of the Cleveland Cavaliers during Cleveland Cavaliers Media Day at Cleveland Clinic Courts on September 30, 2019 in Independence, Ohio.

Jason Miller – Getty Images

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CLEVELAND, OH – The Cavaliers got the preseason started on Monday night with a 120-89 win over San Lorenzo De Almagro.

It was Cleveland’s first look at head coach John Beilein’s system and a chance for fans to see rookies Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. in action.

Here are three observations from the Cavs’ win:

Garland dazzles in debut

Garland didn’t get into the game until the start of the second quarter, but the rookie had an instant impact. The Cavaliers trailed 24-21 when Garland entered the game. The 19-year-old snagged a defensive rebound and took it the length of the court, blowing past two defenders before dishing to a wide-open Cedi Osman, who missed his 3-point attempt. Tristan Thompson grabbed the rebound and scored.

Garland scored his first NBA points just a few minutes later. The rookie dribbled around a Thompson screen and hit a 31-foot step back 3-pointer that gave the Cavs a 30-28 lead. Cleveland never trailed again. Garland scored less than a minute later on a beautiful set-up pass in transition from Kevin Love.

The fifth overall pick showed his quickness and playmaking ability, finishing with nine points and two assists. He shot a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in 14 minutes.

“I’m a point guard so that’s what I’m supposed to do anyway," Garland said. "The shooting just comes natural to me, but the playmaking, that’s what I’m here to do. Try to get my teammates involved. Make them better.”

His coach was pleased with his perfomance after the game. 

“He hasn’t had enough practice time to understand everything, but he does really know how to play,” Beilein said after the game. “It was good. He gave us a really good flow, where it really made it much easier for everybody else.”

Beilein’s system

Beilein wants his team to embrace the fundamentals. He’s stressed fundamentals during training camp in hopes of it rubbing off in game situations. It showed on Monday night. The Cavs moved the ball well, despite shooting 30 percent from the field in the first quarter. Beilein’s system should benefit Collin Sexton, Garland and the rest of the Cavaliers’ young players.

The other rookie

It’s easy to forget about Kevin Porter Jr. The Cavs selected him with the No. 30 pick in June’s NBA Draft. He has plenty of talent and it was on display in the Cavs’ win. Porter finished with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He drove to the rim multiple times, showing nice balance and strength to finish at the basket. Porter looked explosive, athletic and ready to make an impact in his rookie season.

Its just one game against an inferior opponent, but it was a good start for Beilein and his young roster.