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Cleveland Cavaliers Head Coach Tyronn Lue made the predictable move to start veteran point guard George Hill to open the 2018-19 campaign.
In doing so, Lue opts to bring the eighth-overall pick, Collin Sexton, off the bench to start the season.
Last season, Hill averaged 9.4 ppg on 44% shooting from the field. It was a lack of consistency from Hill and the rest of the guards that hindered the Cavaliers from taking the next step in the NBA Finals, being outplayed, and outscored, by Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
Hill’s defense is nowhere as notable as it used to be, either.
Without LeBron James in town, nobody is expecting the NBA Finals. A lot of fans are wondering who will score the points in the absence of James. The answer to that question is not Hill. Moreover, the Cavs are now in the business to develop some of their younger talents. In saying this, the decision to start Hill over Sexton is rather questionable.
Lue stuck with Hill for veteran leadership. Letting the younger player sit and develop is the common maneuver for coaches, but it likely won’t be long until Sexton’s name is etched into the starting five.
Sexton has been impressive in two of three preseason games with averages of 10.3 points and 3.0 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game and has a three-point hit rate of 57.1%.
Lue and the Cavs have a new approach to run the floor and play a fast-paced brand of basketball. The 19-year-old Sexton, known for his speed, strength and explosiveness, would be much better suited to command this new offense.
Sexton, as well as other youthful talent, Jordan Clarkson, Rodney Hood, David Nwaba and Cedi Osman, will experience high-usage rates as the Cavs progress and seek to win games.
Sexton’s ability to run an upbeat offense, as well as score the basketball at will, while getting the other youngsters involved, is why he will be inserted into the lineup sooner than later.
Really, the question Cavs fans should be asking themselves isn’t “Why isn’t Sexton starting?” Rather, it is, “When will Sexton start?” Because let’s face it, George Hill has no long-term future on this Cavaliers squad.
Before long, the “Young Bull” will be given the keys and become the daily starter for the Wine and Gold.