OAKLAND -- Omri Casspi’s timing was impeccable, and not just for the Warriors.
While he played a strong game Thursday night, totaling 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 112-97 win over the Dallas Mavericks, this was one of those cases in which the “when” felt as wonderful as the “what.”
There was a particular significance for Casspi insofar as he had performed so well not only for Warriors fans at Oracle Arena but also for friends and family and brothers and sisters of his faith.
For it was the third night of Hanukkah and also Jewish Heritage Night at Oracle Arena, and Casspi is of the Jewish faith, born in 1988 in Holon, Israel. He is the only current NBA player born Jewish.
“It was fun,” Casspi said of the evening. “My family is in town, always for Hanukkah. So it’s always fun to have family around.”
Casspi signed with the Warriors in July in the wake of a forgettable season in which he fought injuries and was on the roster of three different teams: the Kings, the Pelicans and the Timberwolves. He was looking for a place to land.
It appears he has found one. The Warriors signed him because he is a low-maintenance reserve that fits their style and is capable of shooting 3-pointers.
Casspi was making his sixth start on Thursday, his second straight for the injured Draymond Green. He produced 11 points and nine rebounds in a win over Portland on Monday and took it up a notch Thursday.
“The minutes I’m playing now are not what it’s always going to be,” he said. “I want to stay sharp. I want to stay ready whenever I’m called upon and earn the trust of my teammates and my coaches.”
Casspi’s 17 points came on 7-of-9 shooting from the field, including 1-of-2 from beyond the arc. He also added two assists and blocked two shots. To be sure, this was yet another exhibition of why he has earned the trust of his teammates.
He’s shooting 60.2 percent from the field and an even 60 percent (9-of-15) from deep.
“I didn’t know Omri was this good, to be honest,” Kevin Durant said.
“He could just play. He can make passes, he’s good off the ball, he’s got the funky push shot that’ll touch the ceiling, but it looks like it’s going in every time. He works on his game. He loves to play. He cares for his teammates. He definitely surprised me when he came aboard. I’m excited he’s on our team.”
Upon concluding his postgame interview session, Casspi walked into the embrace of family and friends. He went back out to the court to participate in the ceremony, lighting Hanukkah candles and singing.
The Warriors won. He played well. He felt the love of many. He was in his element.