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Everyone Needs to Take a Deep Breath on Darius Garland

It has become a trend in the Cleveland Cavaliers fan base to complain about the performance the home grown, 5th overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft, Darius Garland since his return from injury. Darius Garland, the starting point guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers suffered a broken jaw on December 15th, 2023 in a game against the Boston Celtics in which he collided with Celtics center, Kristaps Porzingis, seen below:

This injury sidelined Garland until January 31st, which was a game against the Detroit Pistons. between December 15th and January 31st , Darius Garland had his jaw wired shut in which he was unable to eat solid food, which, in case you didn’t know, is especially important for a world class athlete such as an NBA player. It is important due to the fact that it is much harder to keep proper weight, build muscle and have the proper energy needed to play at a level of an elite athlete in which Darius Garland is. Because of this lack of nutrition, it is no surprise that since Darius has returned from his broken jaw injury, he has not  looked like himself, averaging just 14.1 points, 6.7 assists and 1.7 rebounds in 12 games, compared to his 20.7 points, 5.9 assists and 2.8 rebounds in 20 games prior to the jaw injury. His 3 point percentage is also down to 32.8% since his return, down 2% total from prior to the injury. Fans see this lack of production as an issue, throwing hate and trade idea his way on sites such as Instagram and X, as well as in the media.

Following all of this hate from fans and media members alike, it has gotten to a point where even Donovan Mitchell, The Cavaliers star shooting guard has taken to the media in defense of his teammate and Friend:

The fact that Donovan even had to say something does not sit well with me because this is my biggest problem with us as a fanbase for all sports in Cleveland. We as Cleveland fans look a gift horse in the mouth way too often. What I mean by this is, anytime there is controversy around a “good” player or a “star” player we jump to the biggest extremes instead of sitting back and letting a situation play out a little longer and this Darius Garland situation is a perfect example of it. Listen, Darius has been back for less than a month, to expect a guy who was not able to eat solid food for over a month to look exactly as he did before he broke his jaw is flat out unfair to a guy who has done nothing but embrace this city and this fanbase. The fact that Donovan even had to speak up for Darius is a bad look on all of us as Cleveland sports fans. Star players and faces of the franchise notice things such as how quick a fan base is to turn on a player and as much as I love the Cleveland sports fan base, we are always ready to bench, cut or trade players after one bad game or a string of bad performances. This is a habit we as a fan base need to break. We are not the LeBron-less Cavaliers of the 2010’s, or the 0-16 Browns anymore, players sometimes have bad games or runs of games, and we need to realize that it is okay for that to happen.


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