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Darius Garland’s main focus after mistake-filled start to Cavs preseason

Darius Garland, Cavs

So far, the 2020 preseason has not gone particularly well for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Darius Garland.

The sophomore guard, despite showing up to camp with a leaner body, has played sloppily in Cleveland’s tune-up contests, committing 11 total turnovers across the two wins over the Indiana Pacers.

“Need to cut back on the turnovers, shots haven’t been falling,” Garland said Monday, via Chris Fedor of cleveland.com. “I’m just trying to get my teammates involved. Trying to get Isaac [Okoro] involved as much as I can, trying to get Dre [Andre Drummond] involved as much as I can and get Dylan [Windler] back in a rhythm. Trying to get everybody the ball, distribute. Then, be aggressive on my end too.”

As Fedor notes, Garland hasn’t played a (relative) ton of basketball over the past few years. And, after nine months off, the 20-year-old Cavs guard still working the rust off.

“Just trying to get my conditioning back and trying to get in that basketball shape,” Garland said. “The one-on-one workouts, drills and all that other stuff we’ve been doing for the last nine months have been great, but they’re not the same as 5-on-5 basketball in the NBA. Trying to get back to all the physicality and speed of the game.”

Garland has been especially harsh on himself and his team about turnovers. The Cavs gave the rock away 27 times on Monday, and Garland said ball security will be his main focus this season.

“Me and my dad’s motto is always we would rather have a shot than a turnover,” Garland said. “Turnovers is like my main focus this year. I’m trying to cut down. I’ve been having way too many the last two games. … The unforced turnovers and getting picked off, those are unacceptable.”

The Cavs selected Garland with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. As a rookie, he averaged 12.3 points and 3.9 assists per game shooting 40.1 percent from the field, 35.5 percent from 3-point range, and 87.5 percent from the free throw line.

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