Off-peak times oblige, TrashTalk has taken the habit each summer of making you relive with emotion the greatest moments of the past season. Even in 2021, moreover, despite a summer that had then put all of our vital forces in PLS, but that’s another story. So we go back to our good old formula, we take a few steps back, a few months, and we remember that this 2021-22 season was crazy, from the first day to the last. Today ? A look back at Darius Garland’s monumental performance against OKC.
To redo the masterclass of the little guy from the Cavs live, it’s here!
Embarked against all odds in a regular season full of promise, the Cavs travel to Oklahoma to face a team from the Thunder that is much less efficient on paper. A random match without interest a priori, as the difference in level between the two formations seems abysmal. One month from the All-Star Game, Cleveland is in positive balance (26-18) and seems on track to at least hang the play-in. Driven by a Darius Garland in search of his first star at home, the Cavs remain on four wins in their last five trips. Well, on the Thunder side, we are obviously having a lot less fun since OKC is entangled in a new galley season and is in the depths of the Western Conference (14-28). Whatever, nothing is impossible with a valiant heart and the lightning franchise is determined to play a dirty trick on the Ohio franchise: Josh Giddey and his friends start the match with a lot of intensity. Worse still, OKC is in total control and has control over the match. With an effective bench and a group running at full speed, Mark Daigneault’s men are building a nice mattress, perfectly soft and padded with an 18-point lead.
.@dariusgarland22 sparks the @cavs‘comeback win with a career-high 18 AST in OKC! ⚔️
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No hassle in sight for the Thunder therefore, who plan to calmly manage the end of the match to clinch a well-deserved fifteenth victory. Finally, ideally, since the reality is quite different. We are in the 3rd quarter and for OKC, a serious problem is starting to show up. Her name ? Darius Kinnard Garland. Small leader for the Cleveland Cavaliers, huge concern for his evening opponents. It’s very simple, the guy flanked by number 10 turns into Zidane from Ohio. In the absence of Collin Sexton – then injured – the 5th choice of the 2019 Draft stands out as the real boss of the Cavs. He scores, distributes and organizes the offensive phases of his team like an All-Star point guard. Jarrett Allen at alley-oop, Dylan Windler in the corner or Evan Mobley for the extra pass, the guard treats his teammates one after the other. His 3rd quarter is an offensive masterpiece with 14 points and 8 assists, and an involvement on 33 of the 37 points scored by his team. Back six short lengths from the Thunder at the start of the last quarter, the Cavs are back in the game.
The following ? A money time mentally ill, two big shots with good clutches, always more assists and a 107-102 victory at the finish. When you’re told there’s a new sheriff in Ohio, his final stat line is impressive: 27 points at 55% shooting and 18 assists for only 2 lost balls. Major architect of the Cavs’ victory, Darius Garland also amazed everyone a few days before the All-Star Game, at his home in Cleveland. A performance in capital letters that probably weighed heavily in the balance when it came to voting. The pocket leader has actually won his first star. Better yet, DG recently hit the jackpot by extending with the Cavs. And the least we can say is that it seems deserved after the XXL season laid by the kid.
No doubt, Darius Garland is a gem. Admittedly, the boy still needs polishing to shine perfectly, but the potential is undeniable. Now All-Star, a much bolder task awaits the leader: bring the Cavs back to the playoffs without LeBron James, something not seen since 1998. We wish him good luck.