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Cedi Osman stars in new role, passes first defensive test: Fedor's five observations

New starting small forward Cedi Osman smiled when approached pregame by about his upcoming matchup with Kawhi Leonard and…

New starting small forward Cedi Osman smiled when approached pregame by about his upcoming matchup with Kawhi Leonard and then another with Jimmy Butler on Friday night.

Lue has placed Osman in the “defensive stop role,” asking the second-year ball of energy to battle the opponent’s best perimeter score.

On Wednesday night, that meant Leonard – an MVP candidate and one of Osman’s summer workout partners.

“It’s a big challenge,” said Osman before the game. “I was doing that last year so nothing new with that. I always like taking those challenges. It’s fun trying to stop him. “

Osman knew Leonard was going to score. “Kawhi is one of the best small forwards in the world,” he said. That’s why Leonard took bad shots from outside the paint. Ef hann var að fara að skora 20 stig eða meira, Osman’s markmið var að gera það a harður 20, óeffective scoring nótt.

“If they make tough shots, you live with it,” Osman said.

Mission accomplished.

Leonard was good in his Raptor debut. He scored 24 points and pulled down 1

2 rebounds. Rowdy Toronto fans cheered every time he touched the ball in the opening minutes. Men han var bare 9-av-22 fra feltet og havde så mange turnovers (to) as assists.

When Leonard tried to get past Osman, the youngster moved his feet well and stayed in front. When the burly Raptor tried to back down Osman in the post, Osman held his ground.

“I thought Cedi was great tonight,” Kevin Love said. “He was our, I do not want to say silver lining, but he was our star tonight.”

Osman asked me after the game if I knew how many times Leonard scored against him. I admittedly did not keep track but guessed two.

Technically, that was right.

On one possession, Leonard moved from the baseline to the elbow using a screen to create space before knocking down a jumper over Osman. Another time, with Toronto pushing the ball up the floor, Osman stepped in front of Pascal Siakam, leaving Leonard open in the left corner. Leonard buried the 3 pointer, with Osman not quick enough to recover.

Other than that, Leonard did most of his damage against other defenders.

He hit jumpers over Rodney Hood and Tristan Thompson following switches. Leonard thundered a dunk after a steal. inside position against hood. He drove against George Hill and earned fr ee throws.

The Cavs are a switch-heavy defense nowadays. That means Osman will not be matched up with elite wings on every possession. Men når han er, planen vil ikke forandre, prøver å tvinge motstandere til tøffe skudd mens de ikke blir nedslått hvis de går inn.

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