Cavs: Revisiting Cedi Osman’s three best games thus far of 2019-20

Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman brings the ball up the floor. (Photo by Brian Sevald/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Here, we’re going to take a look back at Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman’s three best games thus far of the 2019-20 season.

The Cleveland Cavaliers began the 2019-2020 season by making Cedi Osman a part of the future, as in late October, they signed the Turkish product to a four-year contract extension worth $30.8 million.

Osman was mostly a spot rotation player in his rookie season in 2017-18, but after LeBron James‘ departure to the Los Angeles Lakers following that season, Osman became a key player in the Cavs’ rotation.

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In the 2018-19 campaign, Osman averaged 13.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, as noted by Basketball Reference. In that first season where he was a full-time starter, Osman earned a trip to the NBA Rising Stars game.

Thus far in the 2019-20 season, which is currently on hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and may or may not be played out down the road, Osman has averaged 11.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists per outing.

The numbers are down for Cedi a bit this year, but with Kevin Love mostly healthy, that’s definitely had some to do with it, and Darius Garland has been added to the mix, but even with lower averages, Osman’s three best games thus far this season show why the Cavs locked up Cedi.

One of the games that comes to mind as one of Osman’s three best came on January 4 against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

New Year, New Cedi

The Cavs hosted OKC in the second game of the new year for Cleveland. Osman set the tone immediately with a cut to the inside and layup for the first bucket of the game. The Cavs would go on to lose 121-106, but Osman was a steady contributor throughout and played 35 minutes.

Unfortunately, as KJG’s Dan Gilinsky previously pointed out, some light Kevin Love drama involving him being frustrated with Collin Sexton in-game which led to him throwing a totally unnecessary heater at Osman overshadowed Cedi’s season high in scoring. However, Osman’s final stat line included 22 points on seven-of-13 shooting, including five-of-nine from three-point range, to go with four rebounds, per ESPN, so it was clear Osman did his part.

The next game that comes to mind as one of Osman’s best of this season has been on January 27 at the Detroit Pistons, even though the baseline stats don’t necessarily indicate that.

Detroit Dominance

This late January matchup with the Pistons has been one of the few games in the 2019-20 campaign that Cleveland has handily won to this point.

Osman’s stat line included seven points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal. Although those stats don’t seem exactly eye-popping, Osman did finish out with a plus-19, according to ESPN.

Even while plus-minus can be subjective, Osman defensively was good as a rotator in this one, he was making quality extra passes, and was particularly active on the glass against now-teammate Andre Drummond and Detroit.

Clearly, Cedi was really valuable in that January 27 game against a divisional foe, which resulted in a Cavaliers’ 115-100 win.

Lastly, the other matchup that jumps out as one of Cedi’s three best of the season thus far was on February 22 at the Miami Heat.

Handling the Heat

It’s no secret that Cleveland has always struggled against the Heat in Miami, as have so many other teams. Cleveland, as a team regardless of the venue in recent years, has seemed to struggle against Miami’s iconic 2-3 zone defense of which they go to a bunch in games, and it was no shock that a team playing so many young pieces in Cleveland had their issues.

Cedi found a way to have a steady stat line, though, even against a thorn in the Cavs’ side. In 37 minutes, he took on a larger role with Kevin Love inactive, as Osman totaled 19 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists, as shown by ESPN.

The Wine and Gold would eventually lose 124-105, but Osman again played well, and led the Cavs in scoring and did not seem bothered or out-of-sync against an unusual defense much of the way.

Moreover, Osman will likely be in Cleveland in coming years, and his three best games of this season thus far show he could be a part of the Cavs’ foundation if he is more active game-to-game.

Nonetheless, even with Osman shooting 38.3 percent from three-point range thus far this season, his presence in settled offense has been very inconsistent, and that, coupled with his issues defensively against starting wings, shows that he in no way has locked down a starting 3 spot for coming years.

Next. Predicting Cedi Osman's role for the Cavs moving forward. dark

If Osman doesn’t show a higher ceiling offensively and/or become more competent defensively, he’ll simply be a halfway decent rotational wing with a realistically tradeable contract.