John Holland played well throughout the entire 2018 NBA Summer League. Could he earn a spot on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ roster, or was it because of the competition?
It’s a new chapter that includes rookie point guard Collin Sexton, and other young surrounding pieces trying to jumpstart the rebuild.
There are also some veterans still on the squad, but as per usual when a team loses its star player, there is always the debate on whether the team should tank for a top pick or keep trying to contend.
The same goes for teams in other sports leagues, like the New England Patriots or Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL. In the MLB, it’s teams like the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox.
Those teams hit on more of their draft picks than others, but for a team like the Cavaliers that’s failed in drafting talent over the years, it’s best to try and contend, and hopefully make a trade midseason to help improve potential playoff contention.
The good thing for the Cavs is they’re in the Eastern Conference, and anything is possible once you get to seeds 6-8.
However, a player that could be impactful on the roster and has played well throughout the entire 2018 NBA Summer League is John Holland.
Holland played in 24 games for the Cavs last year. He averaged 2.2 points per game on 28 percent shooting. His best game was the final one of the season against the New York Knicks. He scored 21 points and added five rebounds to go along with an assist. He shot 40 percent from long range during the game.
In seven Summer League games, Holland averaged 9.7 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.
His best game was against the Toronto Raptors, when he scored 23 points. It could be a sign of things to come if he gets an opportunity with the club in training camp.
He shot the ball much better from 3-point range, and he took high-percentage looks — something he struggled to do last season with the Cavs.
Obviously he’s a seasoned player and is going up against rookies and G League competition, but his improvement showed throughout all of the games. He gained more and more confidence with each contest. It might not have showed in the stats, but the effort was there.
The resting of Cedi Osman and Ante Zizic gave him more opportunities, and better spacing on the floor. It allowed him to build an instant chemistry with Sexton and Billy Preston, and it took them all the way to the semifinals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Unfortunately, the Cavs lost the game in two overtimes, but it showed Cavs and NBA fans in general that the club will be entertaining and fun as they grow into a seasonal contender.
Holland might never get a shot with the Cavs, and could be signed elsewhere, but he proved that he deserves another chance in the NBA and that he can improve his game if given the chance.
Here’s to a new beginning for the Cavaliers, and hopefully John Holland.