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Cavs uncertain on Isaac Okoro’s first-round status in playoffs, to lean on Dean Wade

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The Cleveland Cavaliers are pessimistic about the playing status of Isaac Okoro as they are nearing the playoff arena this mid-April. The club remains determined that the young forward has to be on his healing course for full availability soon.

“We need to get him to a place better than he was,” Bickerstaff noted, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. “If Isaac doesn’t play, it’s because he’s in real discomfort. We’ve got to make sure we’re taking the steps to get him to a place of comfort and safety. That’s more important. It’s something we’re just monitoring every day and hopefully he continues to improve.”

Okoro is set to be absent for the third-straight time with the Cavs, as he is dealing with left knee soreness. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff can only offer an uncertain response if the defensive-minded wing can be good to go as they enter the first round of the playoffs in the coming days.

“I don’t have an answer right now to be honest with you,” Bickerstaff said. “We are trying to progress him. We’ll see what happens. We’ve always got to do what’s right by him.”

With Okoro taking his time off the action, Bickerstaff has expressed his desire to rely on Dean Wade’s presence, while still sticking on Caris LeVert for a more comfortable sixth-man role.

In their recent win over the Indiana Pacers, Wade got the starting gig from Bickerstaff, finishing five boards and five boards. His length helped the Cavaliers in matching up the Pacers’ size at the frontcourt.

“We know what Dean’s capable of when he is playing to his potential,” Bickerstaff said. “He has the ability to have a two-way impact. He has the ability to make shots. He has the ability to guard multiple positions.

“The more reps he gets, the more comfortable and more confident he is. I think it’s better for the team.”

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