The Kings pulled off a big win in Portland last Monday, but Omri Casspi was stuck on three blown defensive assignments as he walked to the team bus.

Casspi rectified those mistakes in the second half, but he still wasn't pleased.

That's the kind of accountability the Kings want to see from the second-year forward. Not only did Casspi recognize his mistakes, he corrected them.

Casspi is being given a chance to show his growth as a player. There is no timetable for Francisco García to return from an injury to his strained left calf, so Casspi is starting at small forward.

Calling this stretch career-defining might be a reach. What Casspi can do is possibly ease some of the Kings' concern about the small-forward position.

The Kings have tinkered with the starting lineup trying to find consistency at small forward. Casspi had become a part of the rotation as a reserve but now has the chance to show he's more than a backup.

Coach Paul Westphal said Casspi is on his way to success if he can impact games on offense and defense as he did with a 20-point, eight-rebound performance in Friday's victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

"I think this is a golden opportunity for him," Westphal said. "He can have a fantastic career here if he can bottle that and bring it every night."

That's the challenge for most young players. Casspi is more comfortable tackling it with consistent playing time, which he'll continue to get while García is out.