Cleveland Cavaliers: Grading Cedi Osman’s 2019-20 season thus far

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) /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Cleveland Cavaliers wing Cedi Osman defends. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Looking at Osman’s defensive play

Osman’s on-ball defense against starting-caliber 3’s leaves a lot to be desired.

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Osman, though physically at a listed at 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds would match up fairly well theoretically, Cedi simply doesn’t have the requisite lateral quickness to consistently deter opposing drivers and mirror well enough to stay attached in pick-and-roll coverage.

His contests of wing shooters are out-of-control on many occasions throughout games, too, and Osman’s had his struggles in terms of getting through off-ball screens as well.

The plus side is that Osman, who has averaged a decent 1.9 deflections per game, is an active rotator and the team defensive instincts for him are there, as indicated by him improving some in terms of defensive box plus-minus, which thus far this season has been a bit better at minus-0.9.

Last season, that metric was minus-1.8, which indicated how Osman was having more breakdowns in the off-ball sense.

Also on the positive side, Osman can fill in and, similarly to Alfonzo McKinnie and Porter, help bigs when needed in terms of defensive rebounding. From there, Osman is a grab-and-go threat in secondary transition as well, where he typically makes the right play.

At any rate, while the effort is there for Osman, he simply is not often able to keep up in terms of off-ball defensive capabilities to competently defend starting 3’s, which are to a large degree, key scoring and playmaking options, if not primary options.

It’s just tough to see Osman improving all that much, given that he’s relatively limited in terms of athleticism when looking at the defensive end, and while Cleveland is anything but loaded with plus defenders around Osman, it’s difficult to be seeing the glass half-full here.

Osman’s defensive grade thus far in 2019-20: C-

Next up, we’ll take a gander at Osman’s overall play thus far in this season, which may or may not eventually play out at least in some capacity down the road.