Ramon Sessions continues to work hard, despite lack of trust.
by Dylan Lowther / OntheDylanL
Point guard Ramon Sessions has been one good crop in a field of ugliness this year for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and his play has subtly but dramatically improved from what it was in the beginning of the year.
Yet, his improvements are not good enough, as point guard Kyrie Irving, like many prospects before him, is looking to push Ramon out of the picture in Cleveland.
We have seen Sessions change his way of playing basketball since the beginning of the season. We were growing accustomed to him going up for a layup on three guys in the lane every single time he touches the ball, and most likely jumping in the air, twisting and turning and in some way getting a turnover.
He has instead learned to be patient when entering the lane, letting the defense react to him before him reacting to the defense.
On top of his improved decision making and patience, we have seen Sessions’ notoriously terrible jumpshot improve. It is no longer the same form he had to start the season, he has way more lift and it is really helping.
He has added the top of the key jumper to his game, which helped him sink his first three pointer of the season the night before the trade deadline, when he dismantled the former champion, Los Angeles Lakers, punishing them for the 57-point beating they bestowed upon the Cavaliers in January at the Staples Center.
Sessions’ new style of play is paying dividends.
Because of Sessions’ great play over the months of January and February, Cleveland was rumored to be getting calls from such teams as the Knicks, who are still looking for a point guard.
As the draft draws closer, those telephones in Cleveland’s front office are starting to ring again, and the odd man out is once again Ramon Sessions.
Ramon Sessions has only began to break out this year. I wouldn’t call his success a hot streak, because it isn’t that his usual moves and decisions are working, it is that he has changed his style of play by correcting the things that made him inconsistent.
I will stop myself right there, he has broken out for the third time now in four years. Twice he did it with Milwaukee, and now he is doing it in Cleveland.
In his rookie year, Sessions started seven games for Milwaukee, he only played in 17 game the entire year. In those seven games, Sessions averaged 13 points a game along with 13 assists, and five boards. These seven games included a game in which Sessions had a franchise record 24 assists, not to shabby from a rookie, eh? But it was just seven games, no reason to jump to conclusions.
In Sessions’ sophomore year, he started off the year as a backup point guard and finished the year as the starter. He played 38 games at starting point guard and didn’t fail to impress. As a starter he put up 15 points a game, seven and half assists and four boards. Still the Bucks’ up-and-coming sophomore point guard wasn’t good enough, they didn’t re-sign him and his journey began.
Is it strange that a rookie point guard forced him out of Milwaukee (Brandon Jennings)? The year after he proved to the team that he could start in the NBA, he found himself right back on the bench.
Sessions inked a multi-year deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Sessions has improved each year of his career, besides last year due to the situation in Minnesota. He was a slashing point guard thrown into the triangle offense and he was also on the Minnesota team who for some reason can’t have enough point guards. Sessions barely played, he was dealt to the Cleveland Cavaliers following his lone season on the Timberwolves (thank god, it hurts my head to try and understand the Timberwolves).
Sessions was again forced out by a point guard who they viewed as a better player, Jonny Flynn.
Once again, Sessions started on the bench. But due to an injury midway through the year to former Cavaliers point guard Mo Williams, Sessions was promoted to starter. Like always, he seized the opportunity.
The month of January was when he first took over the role, he posted season-highs in points per game, assists per game, and rebounds per game in the month of January (13, 6 and 3).
He followed up the month of January by shattering those numbers with his stellar play in February. He was posting one tenth of a point below 20 points, a shade under nine assists, four rebounds, and a hair under two steals per game during the month of February. In the month of February, when he was just becoming comfortable as the every day starter, he found himself in elite company. He was playing better basketball than Chris Paul that month, his assist average was only five tenths lower, and his scoring average was about four points higher.
Yet, despite his outstanding play at starting point guard, once again he was spurned of every day starter minutes after the trade deadline.
He kept the starting position, but barely. The point guard position turned into more of a platoon role between Sessions and recently acquired, Baron Davis, who came to the Cavaliers with the No. 1 overall selection in exchange for Mo Williams.
During the last month of the season, Sessions was receiving less minutes than Baron Davis. In just 23 minutes per game, he managed to average 17 points per game.
Now, on the day of the NBA Draft, despite another year filled with incredible improvement for Sessions, his name is in the middle of trade talk involving the Cavaliers.
Why? Because he is being forced out by projected No. 1 overall pick, Kyrie Irving.
Sessions generated trade talk near the deadline as teams started to take interest in his outburst in February and nothing happened, but now that the Cavaliers are closer and closer to drafting Irving, Sessions looks more and more out of place in Cleveland.
Sessions’ whole career has been centered around proving people wrong, proving that he is worthy of playing time and playing time of a starter.
Proving that he was worthy of being drafted higher than 56th overall, proving that coming from the University of Nevada-Reno doesn’t mean anything when it comes to ability.
As his time in Cleveland looks like it will be ending relatively soon, he will continue to improve, and by doing so, recruit a new set of believers, still being fueled by every team, player, and coach that has denied him an opportunity to play.