The start of Cedi Osman’s NBA career didn’t come without some hiccups. He arrived stateside after a strong EuroBasket performance with Tyronn Lue openly saying he hadn’t seen him play. He missed time with back spasms. And when he did play, he said he was “shocked” and looked it on the court. In his first NBA minutes, he looked overwhelmed.
That wasn’t the case on Sunday against the Wizards. With the Cavs resting their top players, Osman got the chance to start for the first time. And he didn’t look shocked.
In 35 minutes — a team high — Osman scored six points, pulled down five rebounds and dished out six assists. Not unlike his play in EuroBasket, he was everywhere and did a little bit of everything. He also had his first real NBA highlight, a bounce pass in transition that set up a Jeff Green dunk:
It took some serious confidence for Osman to even throw this pass. For him, leading the offense after a rebound, he saw an opening and then threw the pass with the exact right amount of force. This is a play that NBA rotation players make.
What lies ahead of Osman is unclear. When the Cavs get back to full strength — and on Tuesday against the Bulls, everyone sans Iman Shumpert and Isaiah Thomas is expected to play — there may not be minutes for him. And when returns from his foot injury, there will likely be even less time for Osman. Such is life for an NBA rookie on a veteran-heavy team.
But Sunday showed that Osman is here to play. He won’t be shocked simply by being on the court anymore.