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Cavs coach Larry Drew pleased with Collin Sexton’s debut as a starter

Collin Sexton, Larry Drew

CLEVELAND — Following Wednesday night’s loss against the Oklahoma City Thumder, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Larry Drew spoke to reporters about rookie point guard Collin Sexton’s first NBA start and what he thought of the young guard’s performance.

In sum, Drew was impressed.

“I thought he did a good job. I thought he did a really good job,” Drew said. “To me that was a big test for him in a really good guard in [Dennis] Schroder.

“When I heard that George [Hill] wasn’t going to play and Collin would be starting, I told my coaches this is going to be a really good test for him. And I think he passed the test, I really do. I thought he played with a lot of vengeance.”

Sexton, who finished with a team-high 15 points, two rebounds and an assist in a team-high 42 minutes against the Thunder, looked like a completely different player than he did against the Orlando Magic when he had a shaky five-point performance in which he played just 17 minutes.

Sexton was finishing, under control, confident and aggressive. Playing in space, beside Rodney Hood in the backcourt rather than Jordan Clarkson, was a major reason for his quick start, as he went 3-of-3 from the field.

Schroder scored 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting from the field and, as Drew noted, Sexton has to get better at defending quicker point guards. The youngster’s tendency to look for oncoming screens often gets him in trouble.

However, Sexton was generally solid all night. The Georgia native even made a highlight-reel play against Schroder, hitting the German guard with a quick crossover before pulling up for the easy deuce:

One game doesn’t define an NBA player, whether it was a career game or the worst showing of their championship career. That’s especially true of a player in his rookie season, who’s still learning the ropes and the nuances of how to be a floor general.

However, there can be steps taken, forward or backwards. On Wednesday, Sexton took a clear step forward.

“I thought he played a really good game tonight,” Drew said. “A really solid game.”