After entering the rotation in the Cavs' Feb. 7 win over the Timberwolves and impressing with nine points, four rebounds and one steal in 21 minutes, Osman entered the starting five in their subsequent game Feb. 9 against the Hawks with none of the four players the team acquired at the trade deadline one day earlier available to play. Another strong showing versus Atlanta earned Osman another start Sunday against the Celtics when the new arrivals all made their debuts, but the rookie still made his mark in the resounding victory over the Eastern Conference leaders, scoring 12 points to go with five rebounds, one assist and one steal. The 2015 second-round pick is now averaging 12.3 points (on 59.1 percent shooting from the field), 2.0 assists, 2.0 treys and 1.7 steals in 29.3 minutes per game over the past three contests, and it sounds like he'll continue to stick in the starting lineup so long as he performs well. He doesn't have much margin for error, however, considering that Rodney Hood, Kyle Korver, Jordan Clarkson and Jeff Green are all more accomplished wing options who could replace Osman or J.R. Smith in the starting five if either player sees his production slip.
Osman will start Sunday's game against the Celtics, Dave McMenamin of ESPN reports.
Osman was thrust into the starting five Friday against Atlanta after the Cavs dealt several rotation players at Thursday's trade deadline, and the 22-year-old rookie will remain in the lineup Sunday, per coach Ty Lue. It's certainly possible that Lue could experiment with different lineups in the wake of the team's deadline acquisitions, but for now, he'll go with Osman at small forward, with LeBron James at power forward. On Friday, Osman played a career-high 39 minutes and finished with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals and two made threes.
Osman scored 16 points (6-9 FG, 2-5 3Pt, 2-7 FT) while adding six rebounds, five assists and three steals in 39 minutes during Friday's 123-107 win over the Hawks.
It was a career-best performance for the rookie despite his struggles from the free-throw line. Osman got the start with the Cavs having a thin roster due to all their trade-deadline moves, but he should return to a minor role on the bench once Rodney Hood, Larry Nance and all the other newcomers are integrated into the lineup, which should come as soon as Sunday in Boston.
Osman will start at small forward in Friday's game against the Hawks, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
With coach Tyronn Lue needing more energy on the defensive end, Osman ended up playing 21 minutes in Wednesday's overtime win over the Timberwolves and scored nine points and four rebounds. And while his insertion into the starting lineup is likely just do to the fact that the Cavaliers will be light on players Friday following their roster turnover at the trade deadline Thursday, Osman looks to have earned a spot in the team's rotation given what he brought on both sides of the ball. With Cleveland expected to be lacking quality depth against Atlanta, Osman could be in store for a heavy dose of minutes Friday and may be a cheap DFS option with upside.
Osman offered nine points (3-5 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 1-2 FT), four rebounds, and one steal in 21 minutes during Wednesday's 140-138 overtime win against the Timberwolves.
Osman saw 20-plus minutes for the second time this season, and he responded with a pretty decent effort. This was his 42nd appearance of 2017-18, but the rookie forward has seen double-digit minutes in only 15 of those tilts. It's possible that Osman is in the process of earning a more reliable role. Nevertheless, with the Cavaliers being so active in terms of discussing deals to upgrade the roster, it's also just as possible that Osman was merely being showcased in advance of Thursday's trade deadline.
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