The Cavaliers won. Again! Winning is fun! Let’s talk about it.
POSITIVE: Cedi Osman has arrived, folks
Okay, maybe this is overstating how good Osman has been and how early it still is in his NBA career. But Cedi Osman has been really, really good of late and Tuesday’s night performance against the Wizards was another great performance.
Osman played another impressive all-around game, finish with 25 points, seven assists and five rebounds. He performance at the free throw line — 2-8, including misses late — was odd. But every other part of Osman’s game was just awesome. My favorite play: this drive where he read Trevor Ariza’s hips correctly, drove by a lazy closeout and finished with a floater:
Osman’s playing in the Rising Stars game and it’s well-deserved based on how he’s played of late. More of this from Osman and he’ll be on his way to being a full-on NBA player.
NEGATIVE: Almost losing isn’t fun
Blowing a 25-point lead isn’t great. And losing a 25-point lead to a Bradley Beal-less bench mob that is led by Jordan McRae (who, to be fair, is an NBA champion) isn’t any better.
Now, blowing leads can happen and the Cavs did just enough late to hang on and pick up a second-straight win. They deserve credit for that. But for this team, having the lead drop from 25 all down to single-digits could have been a disaster. In a season where they’ve been blown out over and over again, losing a 25-point lead might have been the worst of all.
Also of note here: Collin Sexton struggled with his shot against the Wizards and looks like he still needs to add strength to become a be the shooter he’s shown flashes of being.
POSITIVE: Jordan Clarkson was cooking
Take a look at Jordan Clarkson’s shot chart from Tuesday’s game. What stands out?
Answer: It’s where Clarkson took his shots. Unlike most of his games, there are not many green circles and red Xs in the middle of the floor. Instead, they are at the rim and behind the three-point line — the most efficient spots on the floor, and spots that Clarkson normally isn’t it.
To the Cavs’ coaching staffs credit, they’ve stopped letting Clarkson only attack in isolation or in a spread pick-and-roll. More and more, he starts a set off-ball, runs around screens and isn’t dribbling his way into shots. Instead, he’s catching the ball and either shooting or making a quick move to get a layup or floater off. And when he does that, he’s more under control and less likely to throw up a wild shot.
It’s a thin path to walk, but maybe this is how the Cavs can maximize what Jordan Clarkson brings.