On Tuesday, Cleveland Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff disclosed to the media that he expects sophomore forward Isaac Okoro to play barring anything unforeseen in his recovery from a nagging hamstring injury.
"If everything goes well then tomorrow he'll play."#Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff on Isaac Okoro's recovery from his hamstring injury.— Evan Dammarell (@AmNotEvan) November 9, 2021
Okoro, who has missed the majority of Cleveland’s season, is averaging 7.0, 2.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.5 steals. To start the season, Okoro was benched for newly acquired big man Lauri Markkanen. But, with Collin Sexton now expected to miss an extended stretch with a torn meniscus, Okoro is a prime candidate to join the starting unit for the Cavaliers.
Whether he starts or comes off the bench Okoro will provide tons of defense, slashing and energy on a night-to-night basis. While offensive production may not be his strongest suit at the moment, the Cleveland forward has been adjusting to having the ball in his hands less this year. With Sexton out, there will be more opportunities for Okoro to further adjust and hone his craft on the floor.
Hopefully, this means better three-point shooting, which is ultimately Okoro’s biggest overall weakness offensively. This is critical, especially after Bickerstaff shared that Okoro’s natural position has always been at the two with the ability to defend one through four. If Okoro does take over for Sexton as the starting two guard, he’ll need to develop a more refined shot as quickly as possible. If not, things could get a lot clunkier offensively for the Cavs as the team adjusts to life without Collin Sexton.