Cedi Osman Explains How Changed Playing Style Led to Career Night

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Cedi Osman was thought to be a major wild card for the Cleveland Cavaliers heading into the 2018-19 season, and while he’s certainly had his ups and downs, a change in playing style is beginning to pay dividends.

In Friday’s loss to the Miami Heat, Osman enjoyed a career scoring night, finishing with 29 points on 55.0 percent shooting. Following the game, Osman spoke about how changing his playing style a couple of months ago helped him achieve his career night.

“Actually maybe like the last two months, I changed my playing style,” Osman said. “I started like attacking more, but you know, so I’m confident with my 3-point shot so whenever I’m open I’m going to take those. … I guess people talk that I had a career night but I think the more important thing is that what we can improve as a team. We’re playing good but at some points we just have to figure out how to play better.”

While Osman is averaging just 12.3 points per game on the season, his average has improved every month since November. In November he averaged 10.3 points per game, in December he improved to 12.1, and now with just a week remaining in January he is averaging 13.8.

Considering the fact that he has scored over 20 points (his 25-point outing against Boston on Wednesday was his previous career best) in his last two games, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that number increase by the end of the month.

One of the factors that led to Osman’s career night was his increased emphasis of getting to the free-throw line. Focusing more on initiating contact near the basket is something he has integrated into his game as a result of watching game film.

“That’s something that actually I learned through the films,” Osman said. “Before I was going away from the rim, instead of toward the rim and I was going away from the players instead of towards the players. But right now I’m trying to take the contact and earn some fouls. Trying to find the basket or create for my teammates.”

He attempted a team-high five foul shots in the loss to Miami.

Following the game, Cavs head coach Larry Drew offered serious words of praise for his young forward.

“Yeah I think he’s starting to figure it out,” Cavs coach Larry Drew said. “I think the way teams are playing him, he’s really just kind of taking what they give him, not really looking to force things. That’s where when I think he gets in trouble trying to create something that’s not there. Now, it seems like he’s just allowing the game to come to him.”

While Cavs fans don’t have a whole lot to hold onto right now, Osman’s ability to continually improve his game so far this season has been a serious bright spot.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Cavaliers Nation.