There’s a reason you have to be careful when criticizing rookies playing their very first months of NBA games. Yeah, they might be really sucking, but there’s a very good chance that what you’re seeing from them is the worst you’re ever going to see from them until they’re old and washed up. The NBA is different from everything they’ve faced before, and there will normally be significant growing pains.
I ignore that advice all the time, because I just love pointing out that people/things/animals suck. It’s fun! I usually try to avoid saying stuff like “they suck now, and they’re gonna suck for the rest of the career”, because that’s awfully presumptive of me, but sometimes I can’t help myself. Usually I wait a year or two, though.
There is no doubt that Darius Garland was sucking hard to start his career. He was bad, the Cavaliers were bad, he was paired up with another bad player in the backcourt (Collin Sexton), it was all so bad. But now he’s… good? Kinda? Maybe not good, not all the time at least, but he’s been making more shots and getting more assists without his turnovers going through the roof.
18 (including some clutch buckets) and 8 (including some nice spoonfeeds for dunks) in a win against one of the better Western Conference teams is just the latest note in his symphony of possible goodness. It’s gonna take a while before the whole symphony is done (what is that quote from the movie Amadeus about “too many notes”, seems relevant here), but we’re making progress.