Cleveland Cavaliers head coach JB Bickerstaff did not downplay the difference forward Isaac Okoro could make during the Cavs’ upcoming playoff series, Akron Beacon Journal sports writer Nate Ulrich wrote in a Sunday article.
“It’d be huge for us,” Bickerstaff said Sunday when asked about the possibility of Isaac Okoro returning for the playoffs, via Ulrich. “especially you watch his matchups defensively and what he’s able to do and how he can contain the ball and defeat screens and pick and roll, which you’re going to see a bunch of.
“Obviously, we’ve missed him, and he’d be a big boost to us ’cause there’s just so many small things that he does for our team so that other guys just don’t have to do it, and he’s just willing to do those things over and over again, even though they are so difficult.”
Isaac Okoro has not played since a late-March matchup with the Houston Rockets, where he played for just under nine minutes and scored four points in Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. He was ruled out of the Cavs’ game against the Atlanta Hawks despite being listed as questionable along with center Jarrett Allen.
A consistent player on a playoff-bound team, Okoro has played in 76 games during the regular season, averaging totals of 6.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game, according to Basketball Reference. He has played in 210 career games for the Cavaliers, taking starts in a total of 174.
Isaac Okoro hit a game-winner against the Brooklyn Nets in March, solidifying a 3-1 advantage over Brooklyn on the season.
The Cavaliers rolled out a lineup of guard Ricky Rubio, forwards Cedi Osman, Dean Wade and Evan Mobley and center Jarrett Allen when they took on the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. Seven other players, including guard Danny Green and forward Mamadi Diakite, have earned minutes in Cleveland’s final game of the regular season.