The Cleveland Cavaliers’ crushing loss to the Orlando Magic on Monday night saw one glaring absence over the last eight minutes of the game. The missing player in question was rookie guard Collin Sexton, with head coach Larry Drew explaining after the game why he kept the newcomer on the bench.
Unlike many of the Cavaliers’ previous eight losses on the year, the outcome of Monday’s game remained in doubt until the Magic hit the game-winner at the buzzer. That potential for an important road win led to Drew’s decision.
“I really was coaching to win the game,” Drew said. “I thought that was more important right now.”
Sexton sat out the final 7:47 of the contest, playing a total of 17 minutes. He finished with five points, adding a pair of assists and a rebound to his final totals.
The Cavs’ miserable start led to the firing of former had coach Tyronn Lue, who had rejected the organization’s focus on player development. One of the team’s newcomers that’s in the early stages of developing is Sexton. He’s seen as a key building block in the rebuilding process that’s currently underway.
Drew emphasized that the move didn’t signal a similar rejection of the development process:
“I didn’t get Collin in as much as I want to, but this is one of those games. He’ll be in there, he’ll be in there certainly a lot in the next few games.”
Currently sporting a 1-9 record, the Cavaliers will look to win their second game when they return home for a Wednesday night contest against Oklahoma City.