Amico: Still some things to watch for Cavaliers, rising Sexton

Cavaliers rookie Collin Sexton showed noticeable improvement in the season's second half.

Things haven’t been nearly as rosy for the Cavaliers lately, even with Kevin Love.

Actually, things haven’t been that great for the Cavs (17-51) all year. But they did go through a nice stretch once Love came back from surgery and got into playing shape.

But five of six games on the road took care of that real fast. The one home game came against the Eastern Conference-contending Toronto Raptors, and the Cavs walloped them by a 126-101 count.

Other than that, it’s been a whole lot of losing goin’ on.

But hey, when you’re playing for the top draft pick, that’s OK, right?

The answer is yes, especially when you consider the Cavs are still losing like winners. Aside from a clunker against the Orlando Magic, the Cavs have displayed some real moxie. They put up fights in road losses to the Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Dallas Mavericks.

Or how about this — in the past five games, rookie point guard Collin Sexton has scored no less than 23 points. More precisely, he has scored 27, 28, 26, 23 and 28, respectively.

CONTINUED GROWTH

Sexton seemed to hit a wall in January, when he averaged 13.3 points on 39 percent shooting for the month.

But it’s been 21.2 points on 49 percent in March, entering Monday’s home game against the Detroit Pistons.

That’s what you’re seeking from someone who you hope can be part of something special someday. You want to see him play better as the season progresses. Right now, Sexton is better than ever.

It’s true that he has not been racking up the assists. He is still at 2.9 per game, way too low for a player whose job is to facilitate.

Cavs coach Larry Drew admitted Sexton needs to improve in that area. Drew also said he also wants to see “consistency” when it comes to Sexton making the right decision with the ball in his hands. “That hasn’t happened yet,” Drew said.

But the assist numbers don’t bother Drew, as sometimes Sexton’s teammates just miss open shots after he delivers a pass.

None of it bothers Sexton, either.

“I try to get as many assists as I can. It can be kind of tough because we have a lot of guys who put the ball on the floor,” he said. “I know I’m trying to make the right plays for my teammates.”

ROAD AWAITS

As for the Cavs as a whole, another homestand is headed this way. They play the next three at Quicken Loans Arena — the final time this season they will have more than two in a row at home. And they don’t play two in a row at home again until the final two games of the season.

Between this homestand and that, comes six of seven on the road, including another trip to the West.

Then you can fire up the offseason rumors, because change will be on the way.

And what happens in the next four or five weeks will undoubtedly play a role in the Cavs’ plans this summer. So will the lottery in May.

Overall, the best part of what’s left is Drew and his team are clearly determined to keep playing hard and developing the young guys.

At this time of year and in a season like this, that is plenty good enough.

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