CLEVELAND — With Collin Sexton in the midst of an impressive scoring surge, NBA players and fans alike have begun to take notice of the Cleveland Cavaliers' second-year guard.
Sexton's teammates, however, have been less surprised by the recent output from Sexton, who scored a career-high 41 points in the Cavs' 112-106 loss to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.
Taking to Twitter after the game, Cleveland big man Larry Nance Jr. said Sexton deserves "more recognition for what he's doing night in and night out." On Wednesday, Cavs forward Kevin Love followed up on Nance's post, offering even more praise for the 21-year-old.
"Under-appreciated — a walking bucket," Love wrote of Sexton, who has now scored at least 28 points in four of the Cavs' last five games. "In my 12 years, he’s right at the top for hardest worker I’ve seen/been around."
The 5-time All-Star also took to Instagram to congratulate Sexton on his second new career scoring high in as many games.
Given his own status in the league and the plethora of teammates he's played alongside, Love's praise carries plenty of weight. It also marks a departure from a previous rift that appeared to exist within the Cavs' locker room between the team's veterans and young players.
Shortly after Sexton made his NBA debut last season, multiple Cleveland players griped to The Athletic that the No. 8 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft "didn't know how to play." As recently as earlier this season, Love and center Tristan Thompson appeared to show on-court frustration with Sexton's passing prowess -- or lack thereof.
But sometime around All-Star weekend -- which coincided with former head coach John Beilein's resignation from the team -- that chasm seemed to close. And while it hasn't necessarily resulted in many wins for the Cavs, who lay claim to the second-worst record in the NBA at 17-45, it would be tough to argue that it hasn't at least made for a more enjoyable product.