Feb.08 - SportLand: Following the Cavaliers' 140-138 overtime win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue vowed to find a more consistent role for swingman Cedi Osman after the rookie made big contributions off the bench in the victory.
"I got to keep playing him," Lue said. "I mean, he brings a lot. He can guard 1s, 2s and 3s. He knows the coverages, he's in the right spot defensively all the time and offensively he can make plays. He can run the floor and can catch and go. For a rookie he really understands how to play the game and we have to find minutes for him."
Osman played 21 minutes against the Wolves and finished with nine points on 3-for-5 shooting, four rebounds and a steal. His plus-minus rating of plus-7 was tied for the team lead.
"Coach has been talking all the time to me and I'm always ready," Osman said. "Seriously, today when I get in the game I was so thirsty, I was just going out and bringing energy to the team. I'm so happy I was a part of the win tonight."
He had played just 17 minutes total in the Cavs' previous 10 games coming into Wednesday.
LeBron James had a huge block and the winning buzzer-beater as the Cavs topped the Timberwolves for a much-needed victory.
The lineup combination that put Osman, LeBron James and Jeff Green on the floor at the same time was particularly effective.
"Guys are going to defend, get out in transition," Green said when asked about the potential of that group. "The versatility of the three of us, being able to guard every position, it was big for us, especially down the stretch."
Green said that the Cavs -- who came into the night losers of 13 of their last 19 games since Christmas Day -- spoke before the game about focusing on the joy of the game of basketball once again to lift them through their lean times.
James said Osman embodies that spirit the team is searching for.
"Energy. That's what we need," James said. "We're a team that has to have a lot of energy on the floor. Myself and Jeff and Cedi, we do that. We bring a lot of energy to the game. He doesn't know. He's out there just playing for the love of the game. He's going to make mistakes, which is OK, but his purity of the game is infectious to our team. He hasn't been in many situations, so he's not even going to trip about what's going on. He's going to play his game. And he's been in professional basketball since he was 14 years old, so he plays the game the right way. It's great to have him."