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Omri Casspi has excelled filling in for Kevin Durant

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With Kevin Durant’s recent ankle injury, Casspi has stepped up as the Warriors’ interim starting small forward

Golden State Warriors v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Kevin Durant has missed four of the last five games with an ankle injury, and he’ll miss more as the Warriors cautiously bring him back. In his place, the Warriors have unsurprisingly given his minutes to a variety of bench role players.

But it is surprising to see the bulk of those minutes go to Omri Casspi. A new addition this offseason, Casspi has started in Durant’s place, and done well in a supporting role.

Over the last four games, including the game Durant played against Oklahoma City, Casspi has played more than twenty minutes a game. He’s averaged 9 points, four boards, and an assit in these games.

Over the season, he’s maintained a 66% True Shooting, grabbed a career high 16% of all rebounds, and rarely turned the ball over. That’s pretty impressive for a reserve wing.

The team has been amazing with Casspi on the floor this season, sporting a fantastic 122 offensive rating and a +19 net rating. He’s been a fantastic cutter and finisher, moves the ball within the offense, and runs in transition. Defensively, he’s long and agile enough to be a solid on-ball defender, and seems to grasp the Warriors’ defensive concepts already.

One area of improvment for Casspi is simply getting more looks from three point range. Casspi has only shot eight threes all season, and hit five of them. As somebody who averaged more than five threes per game just two years ago (and at a high percentage as well), he really can really be a long-range threat in an offense that gives him the green light.

After playing sparingly early in the season, Casspi has fought his way into the rotation. He won’t always play this many minutes, but he’s proven to be far more valuable than his minimum contract. Moreso than guys like Kevon Looney, Nick Young, and Jordan Bell, I can see Casspi being a valuable rotation guy late in the playoffs.