Cavs tweet highlights Isaac Okoro’s scoring uptick in recent stretch

Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff (left) talks with Cleveland wing Isaac Okoro in-game. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports)
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff (left) talks with Cleveland wing Isaac Okoro in-game. (Photo by David Richard-USA TODAY Sports) /

Isaac Okoro has had his share of inconsistencies on the offensive end in his rookie season for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and 9.1 points per outing in averaging 32.1 minutes of play indicates that to some extent.

Okoro looking onward needs to develop some of a pull-up game and he’ll need to make strides as a catch-and-shoot player to maximize his driving capabilities.

Progression as a pick-and-roll ball handler could end up being crucial for him, too, for what it’s worth. Although we have seen some positive signs in that realm, particularly as the season has worn on, and of late, that’s played out.

Of course, injuries to the Cavs and players such as Matthew Dellavedova and Darius Garland have led to more on-ball play from Okoro, but even before that point, there has been encouraging signs.

And although we didn’t see it against the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday following up his season-high of 32 points the day before against the Phoenix Suns, Okoro has looked to be more assertive offensively. That’s led to more production from him recently, too, and the Cavaliers seemingly hit on that from him in a tweet on Friday.

That Cavs tweet hit on how Okoro has looked more aggressive lately.

That tweet wasn’t factoring in Cleveland’s last outing at the Dallas Mavericks, but Okoro looking to be more involved on the offensive end in this closing stretch of his rookie campaign has been good to see. It was an outing that was a forgettable one, as we know, but Okoro having 15 points on six-of-11 shooting was a positive takeaway at Dallas on Friday.

He’s hit double figures in seven of the past eight games, also.

Now, again, injuries to pieces such as Garland (ankle sprain) in the past few games, in particular, have likely led to Okoro having more on-ball scoring/playmaking workload. I get that.

Nonetheless, it’s been a plus to see the rook making it a point to attack more, and in this closing batch of games, that’s meaningful heading into the upcoming offseason. That game against Phoenix, in which he got the free throw line nine times (another season-high) and hit all of those attempts was great for him, too.

That sort of outing had to have gone a long way for Okoro’s confidence, even while the Cavaliers did eventually get crushed in OT by Chris Paul and Mikal Bridges and the league’s best squad record-wise. Okoro made things happen in a big way in that one, and him having a then-season-high 20 points at the Toronto Raptors was a step forward for him seemingly as well.

And though he didn’t shoot well overall, with it being just four-of-12 from the field and one-of-four from three-point land, Okoro getting to the line six times against the Orlando Magic was a plus last Wednesday, too.

His defensive intensity and attacking style later on in that one, to go with efforts from Jarrett Allen and Cedi Osman, for instance, did play a part in Cleveland having a big near-comeback attempt in the fourth quarter in that one as well. Albeit the Cavaliers would lose that one down the stretch/run out of gas ultimately, but it was a nice near-comeback.

Moreover, as that Cavs tweet from Friday alluded to, it has been a key positive to have seen the 20-year-old rookie wing get it going more offensively of late.

dark. Next. When available, Cavs often need more from Kevin Love

Hopefully this recent stretch and ideally, batch of upcoming games to close out the season are something for Okoro to continue to build on heading into the offseason.