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Cavaliers will continue to start rookie Cedi Osman at small forward

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Since the Cleveland Cavaliers essentially blew up their entire roster by making three moves on the day of the recent trade deadline, not much has stayed constant.

But, a few things haven’t changed.

LeBron James is still LeBron James and is delivering an MVP-worthy season for his club.

Kevin Love is still injured with a broken bone in his hand, weeks away from returning.

A few key rotational players remained with the club and will continue to play important roles moving forward. Those players include JR Smith, Jeff Green, Tristan Thompson and Kyle Korver.

Toronto Raptors v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Two

But, one under-the-radar player has recently emerged as a legitimate producer for coach Tyronn Lue’s squad: rookie Cedi Osman. Lue put Osman in the starting lineup on Friday (when their newcomers weren’t able to suit up) and put up 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting along with six rebounds, five assists and three steals in 39 minutes of a 123-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Surprisingly, Lue kept the rookie in the starting five against the Boston Celtics on Sunday (with the new players available), and he posted 12 points, five rebounds an assist and a steal in 29 minutes. The Cavaliers won their second game in a row in convincing fashion, beating the Celtics 121-99.

Traveling to take on the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, the Cavaliers will look to increase their winning streak to four games. Apparently Osman isn’t going anywhere, either.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Atlanta Hawks

"I mean, I like what he brings," Lue said on Monday, per Dave McMenamin of ESPN. "It's a big disadvantage (for the opponent) having (James) at the 4, because now you've got four guys that push it out on the break. I think that's big. I think having Hood come off the bench and being a scoring power, a scoring threat, being able to run things through him I think is big also. I like where we're at right now, and we'll just kind of go from there and see how it plays out.”

Osman will start at small forward which will allow James to get the nod at power forward, where he creates an obvious positional mismatch.

As one would imagine, the sudden spike in playing time has been a pleasant surprise for the 22-year-old Turk.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Washington Wizards

"The last two nights I was a trending topic (on Twitter) in Turkey," Osman said Monday. "I mean, it is a big deal. But for me, seriously, I'm just having a lot of fun.”

Most of all, LeBron enjoys starting alongside Osman, saying “he’s a great player, he's going to continue to get better and better.”

Although one of the newcomers might eventually end up taking the rookie’s spot in the starting five, things are working at the moment, so there’s no rush to make another change quite yet.

Topics:
NBA
Kevin Love
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Eastern Conference
LeBron James
JR Smith

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