Omri Casspi’s signature moment of the season is probably the three-point-shooting duel he had with Golden State superstar Stephen Curry in Oakland on Dec. 28. Casspi made nine three-pointers, including a memorable back-and-forth in the second quarter with Curry.
There will be no rematch on All-Star weekend as Casspi was not among the eight players invited to participate in the league’s annual three-point contest as part of All-Star Saturday night, in which Curry will defend his title.
Casspi entered Friday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center , shooting 44 percent from three-point range, sixth in the NBA. His 85 threes were 30th in the league.
Casspi was disappointed not to be included in the contest.
“It is what it is, man,” Casspi said. “I feel like I deserve to be there, and I did everything I can.”
Casspi is on pace for his best three-point-shooting season. Casspi’s career high is 40.2 percent last season.
Kings coach George Karl said he was “somewhat” surprised Casspi was not chosen for the contest.
“I thought he should get more consideration, but being the first year he’s established himself as a top-10 guy, I don’t know,” Karl said.
Karl said jokingly Casspi’s unorthodox shooting form might have been a problem.
“I don’t know if that release would have gotten those balls off because he has that slow release,” Karl said.
Time to Boogie – DeMarcus Cousins’ teammates are interested to see how he does in the Skills Challenge on All-Star weekend.
Cousins earned the nickname “Boogie” because he could “boogie” with the ball.
“He thinks he’s a point guard and he thinks what we do is very easy, but we’ve got to try to humble the guy,” said Kings point guard Rajon Rondo joked when asked if he had advice for Cousins. “That’s what I’m working on.”
Rondo said unlike many big men, Cousins can handle the ball like a point guard.
“But in the Skills Challenge, he’ll have to go through it a little faster than he’s used to moving, but he’ll be fine,” Rondo said.
“Obviously he has a great handle for a 7-footer, and I think he’ll enjoy the moment,” Karl said.
Sticking with Marco – Marco Belinelli started his third straight game Friday, even with Ben McLemore healthy, and scored 13 points on 5-of-12 shooting (0 of 4 from three-point range).
Belinelli scored 18 points in each of his previous two games starting for McLemore.
Karl said he’s inclined to keep Belinelli in the starting lineup.
“My gut says yes, at least probably through this road trip, and probably evaluate it at All-Star break,” Karl said.
The Kings have three more games on the trip.