The Cleveland Cavaliers are enjoying the resurgence of Cedi Osman. Osman is coming off a year where he struggled shooting 37.4% and 30.6% from three — Osman never shot below 42.7% or 34.8% from three before last season. The future for Osman in Cleveland seemed bleak after a troubling season as three years of his four-year, $31 million contract remained. The Cavs needed Osman to come off the bench and produce points and three-point shooting. Between poor shooting and an unclear role given by J.B. Bickerstaff, Osman struggled to find his footing last season. This year is a different story for Osman and the Cavs.
Osman Having a Resurgent Year, Posting Career-Highs
Heading into the new season, most looked for others to produce off of Cleveland’s bench, overlooking Osman. This season, Osman is enjoying the best stretch of his career: 11.8 points, 48.5% and 43.6% from three. He is shooting this blistering mark from three while shooting a career-high 5.9 threes per game. The Wine and Gold desperately needed better bench production this season, especially better scoring from the wing positions. Efficient three-point shooting was perhaps the biggest need of all.
Osman is meeting every single need for the Cavaliers this season. A human torch off the bench is exactly what Osman has been all season. It all started when he erupted with 20 points vs. the Suns on October 30th. Since then, he has not looked back averaging 14.5 points over the last 11 games. Plus, Osman has shot a red-hot 45% from three. Eventually, these averages, particularly the three-point average, will drop as the year goes on. Shooting this well from three is typically not sustainable in the NBA. Still, what a year it has been for Osman thus far.
The Impact of Osman this Season
Osman has come off the bench all season averaging roughly 22 minutes per game. These offensive averages from Osman in hardly over 20 minutes are quite impressive. He would nearly be a 20-point scorer (19.1) within 36 minutes per game. His offensive rating per 100 possessions is also a staggering 121, the average is between 106-112 on a year-to-year basis. That gives an idea of just how good he has been in the scoring department this season. Rather than an overpay, Osman has become quite a bargain at his current production level.
While his production level may drop some this year, his role will continue to be huge. Without Collin Sexton, Osman’s instant offense will go a long way. He has shown the ability to take over games, providing takeover stretches at times. Osman already has three 20 points games off the bench. Over his last three appearances, Osman posted 26 vs. Boston and 23 vs. Phoenix (Osman has the Suns’ number averaging 21.5 in two games).
The Cavaliers are exceeding expectations thanks to unexpected contributions. Osman’s play was one thing hardly anyone saw coming and is a huge reason why the Cavs’ bench has become solid.
Featured image courtesy of Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images
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