Making a Point

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When Ramon Sessions arrived in Cleveland, the smoke was still clearing from a turbulent summer. And during that time, just as Byron Scott was the perfect choice for head coach, Sessions was the right replacement in the backcourt.

In an inevitable trade, the Cavaliers packaged Delonte West and Sebastian Telfair for Sessions, Ryan Hollins and a second round pick. The talented yet combustible West wound up back in Boston. Telfair is off to a solid start for the Wolves, just as Hollins is in Cleveland.

Sessions, meanwhile, has established himself in Cleveland’s four-guard rotation – starting every game this season. After notching double-figures in every preseason game, Sessions has had some great nights – 21 points, 9-13 FG against Sacramento – and some not-so-good ones – four points, 1-10 FG in a team clunker in Toronto.

Starting this weekend, with his friend Mo Williams returning to the starting lineup, Sessions will come off the bench.

Sessions comes into this weekend’s back-to-back averaging 11.5 ppg and just over three assists per contest. Like everyone on the team, he’s still getting used to Byron Scott’s system. And he’s getting more time than he did in a poor fit last season in Minnesota.

“I’m getting the opportunity to play more and in a system that fits my game,” said Sessions. “Nothing against the triangle, but I’m not the best triangle point guard out there. So this system is the perfect fit.”

The triangle requires a long-distance shooter at the point and Sessions, who’s attempted 56 treys in his career and none this season, is not that guy. More a pure point guard, which he’s been since high school, Sessions prefers his current surroundings.

“It’s like day and night. It’s like playing basketball all over again in a system where you get to handle the ball, come off pick and rolls, and just make plays.”

In three seasons, the 6-3, 190-pound Nevada star averaged an even 10.0 ppg, but he’d shown flashes across the board. Sessions averaged 7.5 assists as a rookie. As a sophomore, he turned in a 20-point, 24-assist, eight-rebound effort against Chicago, dropped 44 points on the Pistons and notched a triple-double against the Lakers.

In terms of his on-court persona, although he plays quarterback in Cleveland’s offense, he’s not a rah-rah guy. The Myrtle Beach native is a laid-back guy, belying his assertive play on the court. He’s one of the Cavaliers cooler customers.

“I’m not the type of guy to come out there and yell and be the most vocal,” smiled Sessions. “I let my actions speak. I try to come out there and run the team. If a guy’s not in the right spot, I’m gonna let him know. But I’m not the one who’s going be out here hootin’ and hollerin’. That’s just not my persona.”

When Sessions moves to the bench, the point guard who mentored him during his rookie campaign resumes his starting role.

Mo Williams and Sessions played just one season in Milwaukee together. They stayed close throughout each player’s career and got even closer this offseason.

“I was talking with Mo two or three weeks before it happened, because I had heard the speculation that it could happen,” smiled Sessions. “We both were all for it. He’s the second person I talked to after my agent. That’s how close we are and that’s how much it meant for me to play with him again.”

With Mo rounding back into shape, although close friends, they’ll do battle on the hardwood. That’s the first thing Sessions learned from Mo as a freshman in Milwaukee.

“The number one thing he said was, ‘Be ready for your opportunity.’ And I got my opportunity when he got hurt. (It’s) just seizing the moment, because in this league, you never know when that moment will come. Mo’s a top-notch professional. I’ve learned a lot from Mo and I still am.”

So, are the former second-rounders as competitive on the court as they are on the course?

“Yeah, we both golf,” said Sessions, before begrudgingly admitting: “He’s better. But he’s been playing four years more than me. But I beat him one time this summer and tied him once. So I’m not that far off.”

This weekend, the backcourt buds will try to get the Wine and Gold back into the win column.

“We’re only 1-3, but it’s still early in the season. There’s a lot of games left. New system, new team – so we’re still learning. The thing is: we need to learn on the go. We just have to get it together and put some wins together.”


Joe Gabriele is the official beat writer for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Cavs.com. You can follow Joe and send him your questions on Twitter at @CavsJoeG.