Things looking up for Omri

The 22-year-old Israeli has averaged nearly 38 minutes in the Sacramento Kings’ last six games, starting in the past five.

February 1, 2011 05:49
1 minute read.
Omri Casspi.

omri casspi 311. (photo credit: AP)


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After an erratic start to the season, Omri Casspi once more has good reason to be optimistic.

The 22-year-old Israeli has averaged nearly 38 minutes in the Sacramento Kings’ last six games, starting in the past five in place of the injured Francisco García.

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Casspi’s averages over that stretch have risen to 11.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game, helping the Kings to three wins in their last four, improving to 12-33 on the season.

With no timetable for García’s return from an injury to his strained left calf, Casspi looks set to continue starting at small forward, and he intends to make the most of his chance.

“Obviously, now I get a lot of confidence from my coach, and I try to bring it back to the court with me,” Casspi said. “I know I’m going to start again. I know I’m going to get minutes, so I just have to make adjustments.

“I’m a guy who’s never going to break a play for my own benefit and I try to run whatever coach calls. When they call a play for me, I try to get the best out of it for me.”

Coach Paul Westphal was uncharacteristically complementary of Casspi’s recent play, especially after his 20-point, eight-rebound performance in Friday’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

“I think this is a golden opportunity for him,” Westphal said. “He can have a fantastic career here if he can bottle that and bring it every night.

“Once he figures out when to help, when to stay home, when to take a shortcut, when to chase his man, he’ll be able to really impact the game defensively as well as offensively.

“When he can convert at a high level on his midrange game and finishing around the basket, then he gets to do more things,” Westphal said.

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