Healthy Casspi confident of Cav resurgence

After disappointing campaign, Israeli NBA representative optimistic of reestablishing his place as a valuable player.

By
October 4, 2012 06:28
1 minute read.
Cleveland Cavaliers forward Omri Casspi

Omri Casppi in Cavs uniform 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Omri Casspi spoke with resolution and excitement about bouncing back from a frustrating season as the Cleveland Cavaliers opened their 2012/13 training camp on Tuesday.

The 24-year-old forward recorded career lows across the board in his debut season for the Cavs after being traded to Cleveland following two years with the Sacramento Kings.

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The Israeli swingman averaged just 7.1 points (shooting only 40 percent from the field) and a mere 3.5 rebounds in 20.6 minutes per game.

The coming season, which the Cavs begin against the Washington Wizards on October 30, will be a contract year for Casspi and he is optimistic of reestablishing his place as a valuable NBA player.

“I learned a lot about the game and a lot about myself last season,” Casspi said. “I’m just happy to be back after a long offseason. I feel comfortable now.”

After playing through pain in his knee for much of last season, Casspi proved he is back to full health this summer, leading the Israel national team to EuroBasket 2013 qualification, averaging 19.5 points (shooting 60 percent from the field) and 5.1 rebounds per game.

“I played 13-14 games with the national team and I had to be consistent every night,” Casspi said. “I had to compete and play hard with my teammates.

When you are really healthy you can play the game.

“It’s a new season and our system and strategy offensively is to take an open shot if you have one and to penetrate if you can,” he added.

“I had to really adjust to the system during last season and fought through a lot of stuff. It’s a new year and everybody has a new opportunity.

We have new guys here and everyone has to prove himself from day one.”

Cavs coach Byron Scott is hopeful Casspi will rebound from last season’s setback.

“He was very disappointed in the way he played,” Scott said. “I know he’s a much better basketball player than that, so I’m expecting him to come back and play much better this year.

“Now with a year under his belt, he has a better understanding of what we’re trying to do on both ends of the court. I think that will help him as well.”


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