CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Cleveland Cavaliers small forward Cedi Osman was a spark off the bench in Wednesday night's victory against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Osman and the Cavs beat the Wolves 140-138 in overtime at Quicken Loans Arena.
This was a quality win for the slumping Cavs.
Osman played 21 minutes in the big win and scored nine points, but it was his activity on defense that stood out in the much-needed win.
The rookie's performance may have earned him more playing time.
"I've got to keep playing him. He brings a lot. He can guard 1's, 2's and 3's. He knows the coverages. He's in the right spot defensively all the time. Offensively he can make plays," said Coach Tyronn Lue.
Osman's teammates praised him for his performance on the court.
"He [Osman] doesn't know. He's out there just playing for the love of the game. He's going to make mistakes, which is okay, but his purity of the game is infectious to our team," said LeBron James.
Osman said he was ready to get on the court.
"I was so thirsty. I was ready for this moment to get on the court, to give my best, to bring energy, especially on defense. It was really a special moment for me," said Osman.
Osman signed with the Cavs in the summer in a three-year deal worth $8.3 million. He was originally acquired in the 2015 NBA Draft via trade between the Cavs and Minnesota Timberwolves.
Osman has played the last five seasons for Anadolu Efes in the Turkish Basketball League.
Last season, Osman averaged 13.2 points and 4.1 rebounds in 35 games. In Euroleague play, Osman averaged 7.1 points and 2.8 rebounds.
The 22-year-old rookie is not lacking confidence. After a game against the Atlanta Hawks on Nov. 30, 2017, Osman told a group of reporters he's "always been cold-blooded."
More playing time for Osman could mean fewer minutes for veterans like Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and Iman Shumpert.
The Cavs take on the Hawks Feb. 9 in Atlanta.