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Turns out the Warriors need DeMarcus Cousins, kinda

Boogie Cousins isn’t a luxury anymore. He’ll fill specific needs that the Warriors have lacked so far this season.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Sacramento Kings Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors signed DeMarcus Cousins this offseason as a luxury. The fifth All-Star, he’d be there to complement the other stars while coming back from an Achilles injury. There wasn’t much of a defined role for him because the champions basically had everything covered already.

Unfortunately, this season hasn’t gone smoothly for the Warriors. Injuries have robbed the team of their flow, and Klay Thompson and Draymond Green’s down seasons have put even more pressure on Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant. The inconsistent supporting cast, sometimes inexplicably primitive offense, and lack of spacing have all cost the Warriors games.

Now, I’m not too concerned about the team. I believe Klay Thompson will regain his shooting, Draymond Green can turn on the defense in the postseason, and the Warriors will find their offensive identity when Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant start running the offense themselves. I don’t think there’s as good a team as the Rockets last year, so the Warriors won’t have to be perfect to win.

But if Boogie Cousins can return healthy enough to make plays, he’ll fulfill a much needed role for this team. He should be able to initiate offense as a tertiary threat, and probably will get run with the bench unit to give the second and fourth quarter offenses more bite. With Klay and Dray both struggling offensively, Cousins’ array of post moves, shooting touch, and passing ability will boost the Warriors’ shot creation.

Cousins should also space the floor well. A 35.4% three-point shooter last year on high volume, he can offer the other stars on the Warriors more room to operate if necessary. His passing from the elbow area will also secure easy looks for his teammates.

The big question for Boogie is his defense: it was never that great before his injury, and his mobility will surely be worse. That said, simply having another big body at center will help: Kevon Looney is the only true center on the team with Damian Jones injured, as Jordan Bell and Jonas Jerebko are too small. Though Looney’s defense is good, he struggles with stronger, bigger centers. Having Cousins bang with huge guys down low will help on that end.

Boogie is already a delight to have on the team, and watching him play will be my highlight of the regular season.

The Warriors, out of answers right now, need a spark to get back on track. They need DeMarcus Cousins to play well, plug up the holes, and bring new life and energy to the team. They’re still two-time defending champions, but they need that push to carry them to the postseason. Boogie is one man who can do that.