Houston Rockets: Omer Asik and Omri Casspi Struggles In EuroBasket 2013

By Michael Ma

May 3, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) reacts after a play during the third quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder in game six of the first round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a roller coaster of an off-season for Houston Rockets center Omer Asik. After coming off a career year in his first season with the Rockets, his anticipation for next season was marred by disappointment when the Rockets signed free agent Dwight Howard to be the starting center. Asik adamantly demanded a trade, and while those talks have died down in recent months, the 7’0 Turkish native has not been heard from too much throughout the summer.

The EuroBasket FIBA tournament was the first glimpse of Asik this off-season, as he suited up for the Turkish national team. But Asik, himself, had a very quiet tournament as Turkey struggled as a whole, going 1-4 in 5 preliminary games. Asik played no more than 18 minutes in each game, while averaging a meager 5.2 points and 4.4 rebounds.

On the other hand, newly signed forward Omri Casspi has struggled as well playing for his native Israeli national team. The Rockets signed Casspi for his ability to stretch the floor and knock down threes, but he shot only 33 percent from the field in the 5 games. Casspi’s scoring output was fairly inconsistent as well in the 5 games, with his scoring marks being: 13, 6, 14, 2, 22.

The red flag on Casspi has been that his shooting percentage has dipped in each of his last 4 NBA seasons. His highest shooting mark was 44 percent in 2009-2010 with the Sacramento Kings as a rookie, but shot just 39 percent last season with the Cleveland Cavaliers.