Why DeMarcus Cousins Won't Make The Warriors Better

Golden State Warriors

Why DeMarcus Cousins Won’t Make The Warriors Better


When the Warriors signed Kevin Durant two years ago, some wondered whether they’d regret making major changes to a team which had already won one title and come within seconds of another. 

Team dynamics can be delicate ecosystems and the fear was that as good as Durant was individually, he could ultimately detract from what made the Dubs great in the first place.

Ultimately, everything worked out just fine, largely because Durant (a) worked his ass off to see that it did and (b) bought into the Warriors’ selfless culture.

But history suggests it’ll be a different story when new Warrior DeMarcus Cousins returns from his Achilles injury later this season.

Working hard and buying into a broader team culture aren’t exactly concepts which Boogie has grasped in the past, and the red flags don’t stop there.

If there was a time to worry about the Warriors ‘fixing it when it ain’t broke’, it wasn’t when they signed Durant, it was when the signed a guy with a history of breaking things.

While anyone merely checking New Orleans box scores last season would rave about Cousins’ impressive raw numbers, those watching closely were more inclined to discuss his staggering turnover rate (five per game) and refusal to get back on defence.

Combine that with Boogie picking and choosing when to play hard, as well as his poor fit on a team that wanted to push the pace (you know, like pretty much everyone in 2018) and it came as little surprise that the Pelicans were much better without him.

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That’s before we even consider the devastating effects of the big man’s injury.

Achilles tears are the worst injury in basketball, and very few players are ever the same after suffering one.

Just ask Wesley Matthews, Rudy Gay and Brandon Jennings.

Even Kobe Bryant, arguably the hardest working player we’ve ever seen, couldn’t truly overcome the unforgiving ailment.  

He played six, 35, and 66 games in the three seasons between his injury and his retirement, averaging just 19 points on 37 percent shooting over that span.

Cousins also doesn’t help to fill a need for the Warriors.

Steve Kerr certainly wouldn’t say no to more help in terms of bench wings, but up front, they already have the perfect bigs for their system.

Much like a massage chair or an office pinball machine, Boogie is an extravagant luxury which isn’t actually needed and might even impede productivity. 

Ideally, the Warriors would use Cousins to bully second units in limited minutes, but does anyone really think he’ll be cool with playing a minor role?

Let’s not get too carried away though, clearly the Warriors are too good to have Boogie completely derail them, and if things go pear-shaped they can always sit him anyway.

Just don’t expect him to make them a whole lot better. 

For more Basketball Forever content, follow @bballforeverfb and @nickjungfer.

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