Hoops: Tired Casspi has heart set on competing for Israel

The 21-year-old forward, who has averaged 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in his first season in the NBA, has missed just three games this season.

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March 10, 2010 06:32
2 minute read.
Hoops: Tired Casspi has heart set on competing for Israel

casspi with jersey 88. (photo credit: )

 
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Omri Casspi admitted that watching Sunday’s game from the bench in a suit was probably the right decision by his coach, but said on Monday that despite the fatigue he’s feeling he has no intention of missing out on playing for Israel’s national team in the summer.

Casspi was on the inactive list for Sunday’s 108-102 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder after coach Paul Westphal felt the Israeli rookie needed a rest to “recharge his batteries”.

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The 21-year-old forward, who has averaged 11.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in his first season in the NBA, has missed just three games this season, with Sunday’s absence his first since December 8.

“Omri the competitor wants to play 48 minutes a game for 82 games, but sometimes it’s just impossible for my body,” said Casspi, who in his past seven games has averaged just 6.5 points, while shooting only 38 percent (19 of 50) from the field.

“Sometimes it’s good to rest, take a day off and come back with energy. Hopefully it will work for me.”

Casspi, who was hoping to play in Tuesday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers, feels that his initial exuberance might be taking its toll.

“Maybe I practiced too hard in the beginning,” Casspi said. “In the first three months, I didn’t take a day off at all. I’d come to lift weights when we had days off. That’s something to learn for the future. I didn’t know how to practice for 82 games.”




Despite sitting out Sunday’s game, Westphal feels Casspi might need a little more rest.

“He looks worn down to me,” the Kings coach said. “He doesn’t look as quick. He doesn’t look as strong. I think he’s questioning himself a little bit. I think all those things are in play.”

Nevertheless, Casspi plans on joining the national team for its training camp in July and EuroBasket qualifiers in August after choosing to miss out on last summer’s campaign to focus on the NBA draft.

“For us international players, there’s a lot of commitment for our countries,” Casspi said. “I quit the national team last year, and it wasn’t as big a deal as it’s going to be if I’m going to quit this year.”

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