Report: Cavs Teammates Were Rolling Their Eyes at Cedi Osman Early in the Season

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The second NBA season for Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman has been a bumpy one, especially during the first half of the the 2018-19 campaign.

However, in the final weeks of the regular season, Osman is making progress toward becoming an important building block in the team’s future.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic noted how Osman’s struggles in the first few months of this season caught the attention of his teammates. Though the looks of disdain in his direction weren’t quite as bad as the growing pains experienced by teammate Collin Sexton, Vardon pointed out that Osman entered the season already having the burden of trying to fill the absence of LeBron James:

“Osman’s season hasn’t exactly been a picnic, either. The Cavs handed him LeBron’s job before training camp even started with barely a season under his belt. Teammates rolled their eyes at him, too, although it was less pronounced than their eye rolls in Sexton’s direction. And Osman is still, statistically, the worst defender among all NBA starters.”

One of the chief reasons why Osman struggled to develop was the extended absence of power forward Kevin Love, who missed 50 games because of a toe injury and subsequent surgery. Faced with the challenge of having to defend against different players, Osman’s problems on that side of the ball were evident.

While Osman did struggle, he was invited to compete during All-Star Weekend last month in the Rising Stars Challenge. That appeared to offer him some confidence and he’s now offering the types of contributions that the Cavs were expecting.

In Monday night’s win over Detroit, both Osman and Sexton played key roles in helping close out the victory. Sexton took time after the game to recognize his teammate’s improvement:

“Cedi’s been closing for us and he’s been playing great for us lately, and it’s been awesome to see.”

Osman has been especially effective during the past five games, averaging 17.6 and connecting from beyond the arc at a 46.7 percent rate. In 11 of the last 14 contests, he’s knocked down at least a pair of 3-pointers and has scored 20 points or more on 13 occasions.

In the final weeks of what’s been a rebuilding season, Osman and the Cavaliers will face some of the best teams in the league. That includes meeting the squad with the best record in the NBA, the Milwaukee Bucks, twice in a five-day span. The first of those contests takes place Wednesday night in Cleveland, followed by a Sunday afternoon clash in Milwaukee.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.