After being buried in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ rotation behind LeBron James, Jae Crowder, and Jeff Green for the first half of the season, Cedi Osman finally got the chance he deserved. Osman started his first career game last Friday as the Cavs were short on bodies after trading away six players — including two starters — and the four they acquired were not able to play yet. Osman played 38 minutes, by far a career-high, and contributed with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Even with the new acquisitions ready to play, head coach Tyronn Lue decided to keep Osman in the starting lineup for Sunday’s marquee matchup against the Boston Celtics. Once again, the rookie did not disappoint as he scored 12 points and added five rebounds and one assist.
The rest of Sunday’s starting lineup consisted of George Hill, J.R. Smith, LeBron James, and Tristan Thompson. For now, Lue likes what he sees from his starting five and will not make any changes as they face another tough opponent in the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to Joe Vardon from Cleveland.com, Lue said:
“I mean, I like what (Osman) brings. I think having Bron at the four…it’s a big disadvantage having him at the four, because now you’ve got four guys that push it out on the break. I think that’s big.”
Apparently, Lue’s original plan was sending Osman back to the bench and promote Rodney Hood to the starting lineup. But given how Osman has performed, Lue said Hood will come off the bench once again: “I think having Hood come off the bench and being a scoring power, a scoring threat, being able to run things through him I think is big also. I like where we’re at right now, and we’ll just kind of go from there and see how it plays out.”