The Wood Shop: Deny, Deny, Deny

Collin Sexton has looked better since being slotted into the starting lineup. He’s putting up 18.8 points and shooting 70% from deep. He’s able to get buckets and appears to be trying on defense,even if it’s not showing up in the results. Statistically, according to NBA.com, anyone who has him guarding them is shooting 7.6% better than their average.

Keeping in theme with my last Wood Shop, I’m going to stay positive. Outside of pretty above average 3-point shooting, Sexton also has a mature mid-range game.

He takes most of his shots from there, and for the most part is above-average. If you believe Cavs’ announcer Austin Carr, this is the best shot in the entire game and isn’t covered because no one in the league realizes that. Don’t consider the fact that it isn’t worth 3-points and isn’t as easy as a layup.

With a rookie though, you take the positives you can get. And, teams may start to actually come out on him in the mid-range if he continues to show he will consistently hit that shot. That will help open up his dribble game a little more.

I must digress now or this piece will be very short. I decided I wanted to write about Sexton earlier this week and feel guilty about having to do this, but I’m stopping with the positive stuff at this point. I’m baiting and switching you.

Let’s get into the Sexton stuff that has people wondering about him as a prospect. He turns the rock over like the it’s magnetic and the other team has magnets in their hands. He’s turning the ball over 2.4 times a game, which is about equal to his 2.3 assists per game.

Some of his turnovers are simply from sloppy dribbling. He brings the ball up high, and he doesn’t keep his knees bent. He makes his first step before getting into a low attack position.

Sometimes, he pushes the ball straight ahead without having it make contact with the floor. Or, does what is commonly called passing the ball, just to the other team.

He puts himself in dumb situations. Below, Sexton’s defender opens up and allows him to drive baseline without any resistance. Sexton sees the opening and goes. That’s all he sees though. His defender was merely feeding him into a big man defender so he would be trapped.

Collin will learn in time that if something is easy offensively in the NBA, there’s probably a reason for it.

He also needs to learn how to keep his head up. Sexton has a great first step, but will often put his eyes on the floor instead of reading what’s going on. In the next play, watch as Larry Nance’s defender closes on Sexton, Sexton has to look for a wrap around pass in that situation instead of an errant toss of the ball.

The turnovers aren’t Sexton’s only issue. He’s got a problem using screens. He can’t find a middle ground, which is sort of ironic, since his favorite spot is the middle ground of the court. He hugs screens too tight. In the play below, it causes him to lose the ball. It also highlights his issue with pushing the ball too far in front of him.

Again, he bumps the man screening for him in the below play clip. He then doesn’t actually go to the rack. He just settles for a jumper.

When he does use a screen properly, he doesn’t force the issue. He’s content to pull up early.

Sexton’s pulling up instead of going straight to the rim is the result of two things. First off, he’s good at that shot and he’s given that shot. Almost every NBA defense is designed to funnel guys into that spot. Secondly, he’s most likely use to being able to hesitate in that mid-range zone to survey the floor before dribbling again. In college, he could blast by the defender that heads out to him in that area. In the pros, not so much.

Sexton almost has an ingrained tendency to hesitate once he gets under the 3-line. Look at the play below. He shuffles his feet as soon as he’s under the arc. He does this quite often. He continues to the rack in that play, but it’s a pointless drive after defenders have him sized up.

And, this tendency is a shame. He can dust guys when he doesn’t hesitate.

I can’t finish this piece without leaving on a semi-positive note. While Sexton has trouble using screens, he’s quite effective at denying them. Look at the play below. In it Nance sets a screen and Sexton uses a right to left crossover to get past his man. He even gets his man on his hip and has the strongside defender helping into the paint a tad. Sexton turns the ball over, but he had two open guys, Nance and J.R. Smith.

Look at the next play. Sexton denies a Sam Dekker screen and uses the same dribble move again to penetrate. He takes two defenders with him and is able to make the simple read to hit Sam for an open jumper. He needs to deny, deny, deny.

That style of screen usage eliminates Sexton having to navigate how tight he needs to get to the screener, and the Cavs should consider having him do that more often.

Lastly, notice how Sexton gets his defenders on to his side/hip in the above two actions. That is one of the first steps to him learning how to finish better at the rim, something many of us at the blog have complained about. I mentioned it in my last Wood Shop. We’ve all said it numerous times, but Sexton takes off too early for his layups. This gives his defenders too much time to defend him. As the season goes on, watch for Collin to take those guys he’s getting on the back of his hip all the way to the rack.

It’s important to remember that Young Bull is, well, young. Sexton may currently be the boy who launches too soon, but he probably won’t be the man who launches too soon as he learns his way in the NBA.

Share
Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 3 days ago

Jusst a terrible first possession and awful floor balance on the second. Nice drive, Collin though.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 3 days ago

Live thread up

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
2 months 3 days ago

TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU JASON !!!

NickNevers
Guest
NickNevers
2 months 3 days ago

If Dan and Altman are such terrible people or whatever than why did Love resign? You would think then he would have wanted out of Cleveland asap.

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 months 3 days ago

The Athletic does little else than print clickbait that rips the Cavs FO. Of course, that does not mean they are wrong.

Raoul
Guest
John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

He is just trying to deflect any negativity he might endure in his first game back in Cleveland. So utterly and completely transparent in both intentions and timing. Almost amateurish. The smart move would have been to throw some partially remembered Bs like this out there during the summer. Now it just seems desperate.

I highly doubt James was lied to, but sometimes you are so powerful your perspective becomes warped and you can’t differetiate truth from fiction because of ego. There are plenty of price! We examples of this from some other public figures in the spotlight.

John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

Damnit. Plenty of prime examples

Anyone know how to turn off autocorrect on Google chrome?

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
2 months 3 days ago

WOJ BOMB ” BLOSSOMGAME TO BE IN UNIFORM AND START FOR CAVS TONIGHT” : )

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
2 months 3 days ago

I WOULD HOPE LEBRON RECIEVES A WARM WELCOME ON WEDNESDAY——C’MON HE GAVE US AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP —-IF HE COMES BACK TO CAVS THIS YEAR —-WE STILL DON’T MAKE THE NBA FINALS —-AND A YEAR MORE OF DRAMA — WISH HIM LUCK—HOPE HE RETURNS 4 YRS FROM NOW TO “DON ‘ THE CAVS UNIFORM 1 MORE TIME —-WED’S REACTION MAY INFLUENCE HIM ONE WAY OR ANOTHER ——–VARDON MUST BE FEELING PRESURE FROM SOMEONE TO CREATE NEWS

Simmo
Guest
Simmo
2 months 3 days ago

Vardon always pushing the nasty stuff, hack that he is.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 3 days ago

NickNevers
Guest
NickNevers
2 months 3 days ago

It’s a two-way street. Some of it is on Bron and also on Dan. It’s not 100% on Gilbert. It doesn’t matter anyways, LeBron was gone no matter what.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 3 days ago

Sure.

John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

Yep.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 3 days ago

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 months 3 days ago

I am confused.

First, I thought we released Holland to sign Harrison. How do we get a 2019 2nd for a player with no Cavs contract? Did the Charge get the pick?

Second, if we did get a 2nd for John Holland, why would anyone b!tch about it?

John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

Really? John Holland? Really? Funny if sarcastic. Pretty sure Holland is not an nba player on 99% of nba teams.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
2 months 3 days ago

AGAIN —CONSIDER THE SOURCE —VARDON —-WHY IS THIS ALL COMING OUT NOW ——–NATE THANKS FOR THE WOJ BOMB

Arch Stanton
Member
Arch Stanton
2 months 3 days ago

NickNevers
Guest
NickNevers
2 months 3 days ago

How convenient that all this stuff comes out just before his return and makes a LeBron look like he isn’t the bad guy. I don’t believe a word of that report. Not a single word.

John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

Yeah, this seems like Bs. Hot and steaming.

MikeO
Guest
MikeO
2 months 3 days ago

I was also saying ‘Don’t trade him to the Celtics!’….sadly, they did anyway…

JRL
Guest
JRL
2 months 3 days ago

Hey glad to know I have as much power as LeBron had when he was here when it matter to the Cavs’decision makings.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 3 days ago

#WojBomb

NickNevers
Guest
NickNevers
2 months 3 days ago

I think once Sexton gets a better “handle” on his handles than he will dramatically improve. Honestly, I’ve been impressed with how he’s responded considering he could have folded or really struggled when that report surfaced that his teammates thought he couldn’t play. When your teammates are throwing you under the bus like that; that can be hard to recover from, especially from a 19 year old.

Treize Khushrenada
Guest
Treize Khushrenada
2 months 3 days ago

David’s two “Wood Shop” pieces this season have been extraordinary, as of course has Ben’s “From Distance” series. More content like those, please!

Also, here’s a quick update on the Dynamic Duo . . .

Cavs’ +/- per 48 minutes in the fourteen games so far this regular season:

+ 0.7 Sexton w/o Clarkson (+2 in 131 minutes total so far)
– 6.2 neither Sexton nor Clarkson (-26 in 202 min)
– 7.8 Clarkson w/o Sexton (-16 in 98 min)
-15.5 Sexton and Clarkson playing together (-78 in 241 min)

JudeElysium
Guest
JudeElysium
2 months 3 days ago

Thanks for sharing. That’s really illuminating to see the numbers like that.

JRL
Guest
JRL
2 months 3 days ago

Two insanely ball dominant players who love to take the worst shot in the current NBA.

JudeElysium
Guest
JudeElysium
2 months 3 days ago

Actually id argue the extra long three might be a worse shot. Outside LeBron and Curry, for most of the nba it is an even less efficient shot.

(Obviously it’s far less common, i just like pointing out details)

John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

Trae young doesn’t agree.

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
2 months 3 days ago

“HIGHLY ” —–OK I WILL AGREE WITH YOU NATE ON THAT—-BUT ALSO THE CHANCES OF GETTING FOULED / ASSISTED ARE HIGHER AT MID RANGE

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
2 months 3 days ago

AGREED IF HE IS 60% FROM MID RANGE –( 6/10= 12 PTS )—–30 % FROM -3 LINE -( 3/ 10 + 9 PTS ) –IT IS TO OUR ADVANTAGE—ALSO MID RANGE SHOT PERCENTAGE OF GETTING FOULED OR ASSISTING TO ANOTHER PLAYER ARE HIGHER THAN 3 PT SHOT

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 3 days ago

I would highlight doubt that anyone in the NBA has shot 60% from midrange for a season. A good midrange shooter is like 45% if that. John Stockton’s year of nearly leading the NBA in FG% might come close.

John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

Curry and Durant likely have shot in the mid to high fifties.

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 months 3 days ago

Nothing wrong with midrange jumpers as long as:

1) Try to get another better shot first.
2) It is a good look
3) For a good good shooter

Especially if the shooter in question is a LOT worse from deep.

Nate Smith
Admin
2 months 3 days ago

Floor balance is key. The Cavs often get run because they’re running a p/r with a big on the opposite block: thus committing three guys down low, a rebound and push often leads to a fast break.

Jason
Guest
Jason
2 months 3 days ago

Early shot clock long twos. Contested twos. And twos for Dekker/Nance with more than 5 on the shot click are what has to go.

Open 12-15 footers for Clarkson, Hood, Sexton, Korver, Hill, or JR do not bother me. Especially when it comes out of motion or ball movement.

John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

Only if some of those guys pass up open threes to take dribble in.

John B
Guest
John B
2 months 3 days ago

Don’t pass up

NOMAD
Guest
NOMAD
2 months 3 days ago

GOOD WRITE UP —–THE YOUNG BULL DOES HAVE ALOT TO WORK ON—-BUT HEY SINCE STARTING / GETTING MIN’S /– LESS MIN’S WITH CLARKSON / HIS GAME HAS IMPROVED ——–HOPING DREW MAKES THE CORRECT DECISION WHEN HILL GET S HEALTHY –AND CONTINUES TO START SEXTON —I WILL BE BUMMED ( AND I THINK COLLIN WILL BE ALSO/ HIS GAME WILL REGRESS )——-HAVE ALWAYS COACHED MY PLAYERS –” LOW AND UNDER CONTROL ” AS FAR AS HANDLES GOES / ALSO GIVES THE DEFENDER A LESSER TARGET —–A.C. IS “OL SCHOOL ” ON MID RANGE JUMPERS ——IT WASN’T TOO LONG AGO —–THE NBA “TALK ” WAS THE LOST ART OF MID RANGE JUMP SHOTS / ABALITY TO TAKE / MAKE ——JUST SAYING ———FINALLY WE GET A CAVS GAME TONIGHT —HELL I FORGOT ALL THE PLAYERS NAMES– ( HELL AT MY AGE I FORGET WHAT DAY IT IS —–THIS IS MONDAY ISN ‘T IT : ) ) —-GO CAVS !!!

wpDiscuz