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- Report: Cavs had chance to acquire DeAndre Jordan in 2018 with LeBron James on team
- Report: Some Cavs veterans ‘resented’ Collin Sexton in 2018, wanted to trade for one last shot at title
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- Report: Darius Garland and Dylan Windler expected to play Friday night vs. Nets
- Report: Cavs saw James Harden potential in Kevin Porter Jr.
- Report: Nets list Kevin Durant as questionable ahead of Friday’s game vs. Cavs
Report: Cavs Teammates Were Rolling Their Eyes at Cedi Osman Early in the Season
- Updated: March 19, 2019
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.