Cleveland Cavaliers missing guards George Hill, Jose Calderon against Washington Wizards
Tom Withers | The Associated Press
CLEVELAND (AP) — It’s rookie Cedi Osman’s turn to start at point guard for the Cavaliers. Just about everyone else has gotten a chance.
With guards Jose Calderon and George Hill out with injuries, Osman will make his first career start at guard on Thursday night when the Cavs host the Washington Wizards. Osman has made nine previous starts this season, but all were at small forward.
The 6-foot-8 native of Turkey follows Calderon, Hill, LeBron James, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert and Isaiah Thomas to the point this season. Cleveland has been besieged by injuries and coach Tyronn Lue, who is back after missing nine games due to health reasons, is using his 29th different starting lineup against Washington.
Calderon has given Cleveland a huge lift lately, but he’s dealing with a sore left hamstring. Hill will miss his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. Calderon took part in the team’s shootaround on Thursday, but was later ruled out by the Cavs.
Lue could have started Jordan Clarkson at point, but he prefers to have him come off the bench. Lue had another option in James, who typically brings the ball up anyway.
“We wanted to try and keep him (Clarkson) in the same role, just coming off the bench and being aggressive offensively,” Lue said. “We’ll see. I like Cedi out there for some of the matchups defensively. We’ll just kind of see what happens.”
And as he gets the Cavs ready for the playoffs and another run at the Finals, Lue said he has settled on starting Jeff Green at forward alongside James with Kevin Love at center.
“I just like his versatility,” Lue said of the 6-foot-9 Green, who is in his first season with Cleveland. “I think defensive wise we can put him on (DeMar) DeRozan, you can put him on John Wall, Bradley Beal. You can put him on (Victor) Oladipo. I just like that we can switch a lot of 1 through 4 stuff and it gives us another ball handler on the floor too, so I just think it’s the right thing for us to start.”