Omri Casspi: A Realistic And Happy Cavalier
Omri Casspi didn’t have the bounce-back season in Cleveland that the Cavaliers were hoping for after trading J.J. Hickson for him last summer, but taking into account his slightly reduced playing time, Casspi’s season was comparable to his sophomore year with the Sacramento Kings. However, Casspi leaves little doubt that he likes being in Cleveland.
“I am really happy with the Cavaliers,” Casspi said. “First of all, the Cavaliers are a first class organization. They have a great fan base and Cleveland is a great city so I am enjoying every second of it.
“I came back to Cleveland very early and I’ve been there about a month and a half. I am working out twice a day, getting into a rhythm, getting a 100 percent healthy and feeling good. I am happy to be here and be with the team.”
With restricted free agent Alonzo Gee’s situation still up in the air, Casspi is in line for a bigger role next season and if he can return to his rookie form, it will help his team’s progression back to becoming a playoff team again. Casspi seems to be up for the challenge and maintains a realistic view of his team’s immediate future.
“(Our future) is very bright, but we need to get together though,” Casspi said. “We are going to have a tough training camp starting in October. We need to gel and learn about each other. It’s a tough season. There are a lot of ups and downs during the season in 82 games, but we need to get together and win a lot of games.”
The inevitable playoff question drew an appropriately measured response. As in the case of many young teams, how fast they progress will depend heavily on the ability of their head coach, Byron Scott, to make it happen.
“I hope so,” Casspi said when asked about making the playoffs. “We have to be tough. We will be as good as hard as we work. We need to listen to Coach Scott, he is our leader. We need to gel together and we need a good training camp. You never know. The teams in the East got much better in the last few years and it will be a tough battle, but we feel we have good pieces and guys who are willing to work together and play together.”
Casspi remains a good young prospect with the potential to become a solid starting small forward because he respects his coaching staff and is willing to put in the extra work required. This is an important year in determining both Casspi’s and the Cavaliers’ potential and, as Casspi has noted, much of their present and future success will depend on how hard they are willing to work for Coach Scott.