Casspi lights it up in Cleveland debut

2011/12 seems set to be a breakthrough year for the Israeli forward.

December 21, 2011 23:12
1 minute read.
Benjamin Netanyahu

Bibi netanyahu. (photo credit: JPost Staff)

If Omri Casspi’s preseason debut for the Cleveland Cavaliers is any indication of what’s to come, 2011/12 seems set to be a breakthrough year for the Israeli forward.

The 23-year-old led his team with 18 points, hitting 8-of-11 field-goals, including two three-pointers, while playing a team high 30 minutes off the bench in Tuesday night’s 90-89 defeat to the Detroit Pistons at the Quicken Loans Arena.

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Cavs’ coach Byron Scott confirmed after the game that Casspi will start at small forward when Cleveland gets its regular season underway with a home game at “The Q” against the Toronto Raptors on Monday.

Scott was pleased with what he saw from his Israeli forward, who missed Cleveland’s first preseason game after straining his right knee last week.

“Like I said about Omri from day one, he’s a very intelligent basketball player that knows how to play,” Scott said. “I think he fits in extremely well with what we are trying to do. I thought it was pretty obvious tonight. He just knows how to play basketball and that’s real good for us.”

Casspi was confident that he will kick on from Tuesday’s performance and help the rebuilding Cavs exceed expectations this season.

“We have made huge progress since the first day of training camp,” Casspi said. “We are a young team and learning. There is still plenty of stuff we need to work on to keep getting better, but the coaches are doing a great job and we need to stay focused and work hard every day in practice.

“This is just the beginning for me. This was my first game for a long time. I felt good on the floor and I’m excited the season is about to start.”

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