Cedi Osman (Turkey), Tristan Thompson (Canada), and Ante Zizic (Croatia) are done with international play for the summer and are all set to report to camp next week.
The trio all avoided injuries during international play, which is always the biggest concern from the perspective of their NBA play. With that out of the way, let’s look at how they performed in their appearances.
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We’ll start with Cedi Osman, who generated the most buzz surrounding his international play. Osman has now played four games for Turkey during World Cup Qualifiers, averaging 19.3 points per game. In a positive development, Osman lead all of the top 30 scorers in three point makes over that span, converting 12-26 shots from deep (46.15 percent).
Those numbers don’t include Osman’s 20 point performance against Germany, where he shot an impressive 4-8 from three. With the game being a friendly, it was not counted towards his World Cup stats.
It should be noted that the international three point line is closer than the NBA by a foot and a half, to three feet at the top of the arc. However Osman converted a significant number of his shots either well behind the arc or off the dribble.
As you can see, Osman appears to have much more confidence in his jumper. Even on step-backs and off the dribble shots he keeps a wide base and his upper body stays square with a good follow through.
Ideally he won’t be asked to be the next Kyrie Irving off the dribble, but this growing confidence and expanding of his skill-set is a great development for the Cavs.
In addition to his 19.3 points, Osman also averaged 8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 2 steals per game. Turkey now sits at 6-2 in qualifying play, good enough for second in their group behind 7-1 Spain. The team is in very good shape to make the World Cup.
Speaking of good shape, Team Canada also is now sitting at 7-1 after beating Chile 84-61. Almost all of the NBA talent for Canada sat that game out, with the exception of Justin Jackson of the Orlando Magic.
The one game Canada played with NBA talent was their 85-77 win over Brazil. The game featured a clash of Cavs past and present, as Tristan Thompson went head to head with Anderson Varejao.
Thompson was the game’s leading rebounder, pulling in 12 boards to go along with his 10 points on 5-6 shooting.
The only real takeaway was that Thompson appeared to be healthy, moving quickly, setting screens and crashing the boards. After seeing him struggle with his health for most of last year, it was a positive sign for what might be ahead for him.
Finally we get to Ante Zizic and Croatia. Zizic averaged 9.5 points and 6 rebounds in his 18 minutes per game. Croatia is now 3-5 in the group stage after tough losses to Lithuania and Poland. The two losses have made it a long-shot for Croatia to advance to the 2019 FIBA World Cup.