Just like the rest of us, Draymond Green is hoping to see some devastation when DeMarcus Cousins finally makes his debut with the Golden State Warriors.
Anthony Slater caught this snippet just a few days ahead of Cousin’s arrival, and the sentiment could not have been better stated: we want Cousins to come in and make this already elite Warriors squad look even more demoralizing.
Draymond Green on DeMarcus Cousins’ impending return: “Hopefully it’s devastating. For everybody else.” pic.twitter.com/kFlA7MYryc— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) January 16, 2019
With the Warriors’ biggest free agent acquisition since Kevin Durant poised to take the court, two of GSoM’s writers try and work through some of the highs and lows that the talented big man may bring. We discuss some of the pluses and minuses and how we think Cousins should be utilized for maximum devastation.
What do you see as the biggest benefit and cost of adding DeMarcus Cousins to the Warriors right now?
Jannelle: The biggest benefit that Cousins adds to the Warriors is a legit and constant offensive threat at the five. In addition to his scoring, Cousins is a solid passer out of the post. In this offense, I see shades of David West as it relates to playmaking on the block but more of a viable threat on offense.
I’m more concerned about his defense actually. The team already struggles with surrendering fast break points in transition and before the injury, Cousins would lag behind on the break; that’s one red flag. The other is his struggles defending the pick and roll and his ability to switch. Look for Cousins to hang in the paint as a rim protector as long as possible.
Duby: Yeah, it’s the defense that scares me - particularly the transition defense. But Cousins is a force (or he used to be, anyways), and I think that overall he’s going to be a huge asset on offense - enough to offset the defensive drag.
Just like we have to guard pick and rolls from opponents, they have to guard ours. What pick-and-roll (“p-n-r”) set should the Warriors include DeMarcus in and why?
Duby: Well, offensively, I think he can run these plays with just about anyone. One of the things I miss most about having guys like Andrew Bogut and Zaza Pachulia around is the big, beefy bodies for screens up high with our shooters. With Steph Curry or Kevin Durant, the mix of personnel is going to essentially guarantee a mismatch once the action is initiated - either Cousins with a smaller player down in the box or with a lumbering big stranded out on the perimeter against our elite playmakers.
I’ve also got a sneaky request: some pick-and-rolls with Draymond Green. Normally, you wouldn’t put two bigs into a p-n-r situations... but that’s my point. We are going to have some of the best ball-handling bigs in the NBA out there together, and I am pretty sure that the opposing team isn’t going to have the personnel to match up with them. Between the two, they’ll almost certainly be pulling the opposing team’s two biggest rim deterrents out to the perimeter. Not only can Cousins or Green work as the roll man in this situation, but it would seem to open up a lot of space near the rim for our cutters to go to work.
Jannelle: I agree. There are so many pick and roll combinations that could work with Cousins. Durant and Curry working with him are obvious choices. I’m curious to see what pick and roll sets with Green would look like since both of them are solid playmakers and passers. With the tandem pulling the oppositions rim protection out of the paint there shouldn’t be a reason why the Warriors can’t get more easy buckets.
Can we talk about the personnel dynamics a bit? Technical fouls, chirping at each other... it seems like adding another volatile player like Cousins to this mix is a powder keg. Any concern about fit/personality issues?
Jannelle: I have no concerns about fit and personality issues with Cousins. For one, not only does he have to prove he still can play, but he also has to prove that he’s not locker room poison. He’s gone on record saying that he’s just glad to be out on the floor again and not really looking for headlines.
So, I’m not expecting the same “cantankerous” Boogie. From him, I’m expecting a mature player that has something to prove on the basketball court-in skill and temperament. Cousins has money riding on whether or not he can play and keep his cool. He’s not going to fumble the bag.
Duby: Huh. Ok, just me then, I guess? Look, I know this is a great environment, but it’s also the same great environment that has barely been able to contain the fire that is Draymond Green. Just like Green got into Durant over a play dispute, Cousins’ style seem ripe for conflict.
If I had to point at one area, it’s hustle getting up and down the court. As an old fat white guy, I’m a huge fan of just playing the Rasheed Wallace zone (top of the key to top of the key), but too many lackadaisical moments from Cousins is sure to earn the wrath of Draymond Green and the ire of Kerr. I’m not panicking about it, but I am definitely a little concerned about how these personalities all fit together. Then again, what’s the record for most technical fouls by one team in a game? Let’s get out there and break some records!