Dubs Lead

What to Expect When Expecting: Boogie Cousins Edition

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The Western Conference-leading Golden State Warriors are poised to finally get the debut of DeMarcus Cousins Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, the defending champs and first-place Dubs are adding an All-NBA guy into the fold tonight. We don’t know what to expect from him necessarily because he is coming off a major injury, but we can expect him to likely be the best center that this iteration of the Warriors has ever had. I haven’t seen the new Avengers movie, but based on memes, this is when Thanos gets that crystal thing and kills half the planet.

In reality, we have no idea what to expect. Will Boogie demand the ball too much? Will he hurt their ball movement? Will he play defense? Will his personality hurt the team? Will he lead the league in technicals? And is he even going to be good?

Ball Hog?

First, let’s tackle issue of whether or not he will demand the ball a lot. Obviously, he’s going to want the ball a lot. Pre-injury, he was one of the most dominant forces in the league and his usage rate last year was a shade over 31%, which is about where Steph Curry is at right now. However, his demanding the ball is unlikely to be an issue. The Warriors will likely push the ball to him in his first few weeks back to get him as many touches as possible so he can find his rhythm.

Changes to Ball Movement?

Next, we face the issue of if he will hurt their immaculate ball movement. My guess would be no. While he will want the ball a lot, he’s actually a good passer and ball-handler for a big man. Furthermore, he will likely help their offense with his ability to spread the floor and set screens. As you’ll see in the video below, he is very good at setting screens for the guy with the ball to get him loose, then getting the ball in the mid-post, and either taking advantage of his matchup or finding the open man.

He’s also going to create a massive problem defensively for opposing centers. With his ability to shoot the ball the opposing center is going to have to abandon the paint which will create cutting room for Klay, Steph, and KD. So ball movement is unlikely to be an issue.

(I know this video is from his Pelicans days, but it still applies.)

Will his personality hurt the team? Unlikely, he has already developed a friendship with much of the Warriors core through their time together on Team USA.

Defense

Will his defense hurt the team? This is one question I cannot answer. His defense was always average with the Kings and the Pelicans, but being in a culture of “defense first” could get him motivated properly and educate him to being a great defender. There is, however, a learning curve. So look for him to struggle at first on defense but eventually find his groove behind the leadership of Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala.

Will He Even Be Good?

This is one thing that we can’t possibly know. He almost definitely won’t be the same force that he was before, but there’s no way he lost all his skills. He’s probably about 80% of what he was before, which is still one hell of a player. Heck, he dunked on KD just a few weeks ago.

We’ll get our first true inside late tonight, when the Dubs take on the Clippers on ESPN.

 

As always feel free to comment, share, or tweet me @TheRucasJohnson

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About Luke Johnson

I'm not the commissioner of the NBA, but I should be. Tweet me @TheRucasJohnson

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