Okoro was subsequently charged with a foul.
Donovan Mitchell with a superhuman defensive effort that’s negated due to a shooting foul on Isaac Okoro who is laying motionless on the ground after getting his chin nailed by Jalen Williams. pic.twitter.com/1hH7dp9XAE
— Brayden Todd (@Bray__NBA) October 28, 2023
The 22-year-old provided a dismissive reaction to getting called for a foul while lying on the ground.
“Okoro told cleveland.com he had no clue that a foul was whistled against him — until his incredulous teammates, who were still discussing the controversial play, told him in the locker room afterward,” Chris Fedor wrote. “Upon hearing that, Okoro simply shook his head and laughed it off.”
Okoro returned to the game late in the third quarter.
“I’m always going to come back in, regardless of what happens,” Okoro explained. “If I can run, if I can jump, if I can defend, then I’m good to go.”
The wing finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and one block in the Cavaliers’ 108-105 loss. He also knocked down three of his eight shots from the field, including one of his three 3-point attempts.
Okoro is in his fourth season in the NBA, all of which have come with the Cavaliers after the team drafted him with the No. 5 overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft.
He averaged 6.4 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 0.7 steals per game across 76 appearances with Cleveland during the 2022-23 regular season. Okoro also shot 49.4 percent from the field and 36.3 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
Okoro had a forgettable series against the New York Knicks in the first round of the 2023 playoffs, however. He averaged 6.4 points and 1.4 rebounds per game and shot just 30.8 percent from behind the 3-point line. The Cavaliers went on to lose the series to the Knicks in five games, as after winning Game 2 and evening up the series, they proceeded to lose three straight games.
The wing has yet to live up to the lofty expectations that are inherent with being a top-five pick, but he still has plenty of time to, seeing as how he’s 22 years old. Plus, his defensive chops are very valuable for a Cavaliers team that isn’t loaded with great perimeter defenders.