Blogtable: What does forecast look like for Cousins' return?
Each week, we ask our scribes to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day.
From NBA.com Staff
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What’s a reasonable expectation for Warriors fans when DeMarcus Cousins finally joins the lineup?
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Steve Aschburner: Huffing, puffing and so much perspiration. And a learning curve for all involved that will last until the All-Star break. Incorporating an elite big man with an offensive game to attend to will take time, patience and some sacrifice. Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant grace the biggest adjustments in minutes, touches and pecking order, respectively. As we head toward spring, though, they’ll figure it out and become, potentially, frightening.
Shaun Powell: Expectations for Warriors fans, who happened to be a bit spoiled? Around 25 points and 15 rebounds a night. Oh, wait: Realistic? I suspect the Warriors won’t throw much toward DeMarcus Cousins right away in terms of minutes and role; that will evolve over time, depending on how his body adjusts. Besides, they’re not exactly starving for his production. That said, he’ll be the best big man in the Steve Kerr era merely by suiting up. And if he can be the antidote for Nikola Jokic should the West come down to a Warriors-Nuggets showdown, then that’ll be good enough.
John Schuhmann: The primary hope has to be that he doesn’t disrupt things. The Warriors’ offense is on fire, having scored more than 128 points per 100 possessions as they’ve won seven of their last eight games. On Tuesday, the Nuggets, a top-10 defensive team, couldn’t keep up with the ball and player movement, which didn’t stop until the ball was going through the net. You have to think that the movement will be affected by the presence of Cousins, who’s a good passer, but not necessarily a good fit with how the Warriors move. On defense is where the Warriors actually need some help right now (they rank 16th on that end of the floor overall and 18th since Christmas), but will he be moving well enough to defend effectively? No matter what, it will be fascinating to watch.
Sekou Smith: Since when do the Warriors and “reasonable” go together? They jumped that shark after the 73-win season. But I’ll definitely play along here. The most reasonable expectation for the Warriors with Boogie Cousins in the fold is the same expectation we all had for them without that fifth All-Star in the starting lineup. The road to a championship goes through Oakland. Someone has to vanquish the champs to take what is theirs. Cousins could be the jolt to the system this Warriors team has been searching for to get them back on that otherworldly level they’ve played on in recent seasons. Steve Kerr has already made it clear that there will be no easing Boogie into the mix. If he’s starting in his debut, it’s pretty obvious the Warriors are going for broke right from the very start.