Soon after Cleveland took the floor for the Hawks his length, athletic ability and defensive activity stood out. Cleveland produced 5.9 deflections per 48 minutes as a rookie, an excellent mark. He produced good rates of blocks and steals at Southeast Missouri State and could do the same in the NBA.
Cleveland was a prolific scorer in college with 20.2 points per 40 minutes, an effective field-goal percentage of 58.0 and 38.4 percent shooting on 3’s (28-for-73). Cleveland didn’t show the same scoring ability during 123 total minutes played as a rookie: 45.2 eFG percentage while taking only 21 shots and six free-throw attempts.