It is truly hard to believe that the NBA is getting ready to start playing again. It seems like only last week the Los Angeles Lakers were crowned champions. However, just like all pro sports, it’s time to move on from last year and look towards this year and the future. The Cleveland Cavaliers had practice this morning, and then Bickerstaff, Osman, and Okoro spoke to the media via Zoom after practice. Here’s the sights and sounds from the press conferences:
- First off I’d like to say that the media “regulars” for the Cleveland Cavaliers seem very tight and are actually very funny. In between press conferences, they argued about how there is no such thing as boneless wings, also went back and forth saying Chris Fedor, Cavs Writer for the Athletic, has already used up all his questions for the day. Finally just before Cedi Osman hit the stand, they seem to think that charging media members for access to these press conferences is a great idea. Hopefully that one falls through!
- Notes From Head Coach J.B Bickerstaff’s Presser:
- Coach Bickerstaff said today was the first day the Cavaliers actually got to scrimmage and play some 5-on-5 since the bubble last year.
- Coach Bickerstaff was also asked how many players he feels comfortable putting in the rotation. His response was that 10 is usually good, and then and eleventh player as sort of an X-Factor. Could be a guy you need out on the court to defend someone. or in certain moments of the game when you need a good three point shooter, or great rebounder.
- He also said that the best thing about rookie Isaac Okoro so far has been that once you tell him something once, he picks it up right away.
- Finally Bickerstaff was asked about the backcourt duo of Colin Sexton and Darius Garland. He said he would love to see them mesh together more, and he wants Sexton to take off from where he ended last year, improving his own game while setting up teammates to improve their game.
- Rook Isaac Okoro Press Conference Sights and Sounds:
- Rookie Isaac Okoro entered the press conference wearing a Cavaliers practice jersey with the number 35, So I would assume that’s the number he’s going to stick with throughout his Cavalier Basketball career.
- Okoro was very polite but yet subdued on some of his answers, which is no surprise for a rookie.
- Okoro was asked about how he wants to bring defense as a focal point to this entire team. He said that his defensive ability is one of the reasons he was drafted where he was, and he wants everyone to buy in around him and make defense a priority.
- Finally he was asked how he was getting along with the city and some of the veterans. He said his first snow-storm on Monday night was crazy, and that he had to go out and buy a bigger coat if he was going to live here. He also said that there hasn’t been a ton of time for everyone to get to know each other, but he has talked with Kevin Love and Larry Nance about how his role, and things he can learn from them.
- Sights & Sounds from Cedi Osman Press Conference:
- Osman entered the press conference with all smiles and saying hello to the usual Cavliers media. One of his first questions was about how he was made a UNICEF Ambassador over the Summer, and what it means to him. He said he just loves being around the kids and he’t trying to set a great example and be a great role model. He has his own basketball academy back in Turkey.
- Speaking of his home country, he spent about five months there this summer because of the Pandemic. He said his main focus on training was ball-handling, and outside jumpers (Three Pointers). He said that we were going to see a lot of threes from him this year.
- Finally, Cedi opened up about the new uniforms and court design. He claims he’s the best model on the team, so he should have been the one in the picture released of the jerseys and court logo instead of Larry Nance Jr., and Colin Sexton. He was obviously being sarcastic, but did say he loves jerseys and can’t wait to wear this new one. He also said the court looks awesome with the new design.
The Cavaliers are young, prone to mistakes, but talented and promising. After drafting Isaac Okoro with the number five overall pick, the Cavs are now very deep at the small forward position, with Cedi Osman, Okoro, and Kevin Porter Jr. All three should see high minutes, but finding out how good Okoro really is, is a must for the Cavs during this season. Overall there is reason to be excited about the Cavs this year, as they are going to play a soft-ish schedule, and there will be a lot of young talent on the floor throughout the season.
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