Omri Casspi's Player Mailbox
Always a fiery defender, the third-year pro is beginning to get his offense into gear. He’s no stranger to overcoming pressure – having played for the Euroleague powerhouse Maccabi Tel Aviv since he was 17 years old and becoming the first Israeli player drafted in the NBA’s first round.
While the 23-year-old Casspi is continuing to get comfortable in Cleveland, he took a moment to answer a few fans’ questions in this week’s Player Mailbox …
Comments: Omri, how much of a difference is the playing style of Kyrie Irving has then it was with Tyreke Evans at the guard spot?
First Name: Price Jimerson
Omri Casspi: First of all, these are two totally different players. I think the big difference is the team sets – the sets we used to run (in Sacramento) and that we run here. It’s a little different type of game.
Kyrie is more of a point guard who creates for himself and for others as well – same as Tyreke – but Kyrie really runs the offense. We really run a good offense – a team offense – through Kyrie.
Comments: How have you had to evolve your game through the transition from Euroleague to the NBA?
First Name: Benjamin
Casspi: It’s been a long time since I played there, but it’s a totally different game.
First of all, playing once or twice a week versus playing three or four times a week at the NBA level is big. And just the athleticism of the players. The NBA is more of a one-on-one type of game, within the offense. Bu there’s a lot of isolation and stuff. In Europe, it’s more of a team-oriented system. The game over there is more aggressive; teams clog the paint a little more.
Comments: Who’s the funniest guy on the locker room?
First Name: Ledis
Casspi: There’s a few guys that are really funny. I’d say Kyrie is a pretty funny guy. You have to get his humor, which is a little bit different. But he’s funny. He really makes me laugh.
Comments: I am doing a book report about you for Hebrew School. What do you miss most about Israel?
First Name: Zach C.
Casspi: A couple of things. The weather, my family, my friends. That’s about it. The weather in Israel – I compare it to Miami, maybe a little cooler. The weather in Cleveland – I expected much worse. But it’s been pretty mild this year.
Comments: Shalom Omri, It's a bit complicated to follow your playing from here as Cavs games seldom hit the screen. I happen to be a Byron Scott admirer since those Laker days. I'm interested to hear from you how your "job description" has changed compared to Kings. It seems to me that Byron is much more defence-oriented and is less interested in your scoring. You take very few shots in a game. Is this a matter of game plan or is it just a reflection of different balance in the new team?
First Name: Stefan
City: Ramat Hasharon
Casspi: Well, Coach Scott is a defensive-oriented, defense-first type of coach. And it’s a little different than what we had in Sacramento. Coach Scott is tough on the players. Not too tough – he’s demanding, like a coach should be. At the same time, he’s like a protective father. And he really gives you the confidence to do what you do. It’s great to be under his coaching.