Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland got an All-Star boost from Cavs forward Dean Wade during Monday’s practice.
“I think his demeanor and everything about him on the court. It’s always the same…,” Wade said. “When you see him before games, you can just tell he’s locked in. He has that confidence that you can kind of feel year-round. He’s an All-Star. It’s what he does. It’s nice to see him take that jump and be a leader…
“He’s an All-Star. Put that out there. Definitely an All-Star.”
Garland made his own case for the All-Star game before the starters were announced last Thursday, saying his numbers were similar to what he averaged in the year of his first All-Star selection. The 23-year-old guard is averaging 21.9 points, 2.9 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 43 games played for the Cavs, all within 0.5 of his stats from last year.
“We’re a lot better as a team this year,” Darius Garland said. “We have aspirations for the playoffs and we’re in as of now. Why wouldn’t I be an All-Star?”
Donovan Mitchell, who earned the first All-Star start of his career on Thursday, earned All-Star selections starting in the third and fourth year of his career.
Dean Wade still took the time to think about the outcome of Darius Garland’s absence from the game, saying he would play with more of a chip on his shoulder should he not be selected.
“If he’s not an All-Star… I don’t think he won’t be,” Wade said. “I think he’ll be an All-Star. But, in the off chance that he gets snubbed and doesn’t make the All-Star team, I think it’ll be a good motivation. He’ll definitely be really locked in for the second half of the season. He’s definitely going to play with that chip on his shoulder if he doesn’t get it.
“That won’t happen. He’s going to make the All-Star team.”