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DeMarcus Cousins’ stats are already mirroring last year’s

Boogie can only go up from here. But he’s already been as good as advertised.

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Indiana Pacers Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Cousins’ first five games with the Golden State Warriors have been as good as anyone could have reasonably expected. Sure, he’s had moments of rust. Sure, he fouled out in just 15 minutes in his debut. Sure, he still looks a little funky in the post.

But all that is to be expected after missing a year due to a torn Achilles.

What’s less expected is how quickly Cousins would begin to fill up the stat sheet in the same manner that booked him four trips to the All-Star Game. Check out his stats from last year and from this year, per 100 possessions - the similarity is almost jarring.

DeMarcus Cousins Yearly Comparison

Per 100 Possessions 2017-18 2018-19
Per 100 Possessions 2017-18 2018-19
Points 33.3 33.3
Rebounds 17 15.3
Assists 7.1 7.9
Steals 2.2 1.8
Blocks 2.1 1.3
Turnovers 6.7 3.9
Fouls 5 9.2
3PT% 35.4 54.5
True-Shooting% 58.3 60.2

The basic counting stats are remarkably similar. Boogie is scoring just as frequently, rebounding nearly as much, and creating baskets for teammates at the same rate.

A few things jump off the page as being different. His fouls are way up, which renders some of the other numbers useless - no matter how good you are per possession, you lose value when you can’t actually stay on the floor for those possessions. It’s safe to say that Cousins’ foul rate is due in large part to the physical rust from a year off the court. His rotations are a touch slow, his agility is slightly compromised, and his instincts aren’t fine-tuned - that’s likely to change with time.

His turnovers are way down, which is certainly promising to the Warriors. This is surely due to his role on the Warriors, who rely on him less than the New Orleans Pelicans did, and surround him with All-Star offensive forces. It’s a better situation to succeed in, sure, but even so, the fact that he’s dramatically limited his turnovers while maintaining his scoring and passing outputs is extremely encouraging.

The three-point percentage is also very noteworthy, though he’ll surely regress a little bit in that department. As that regresses, so too will his true-shooting percentage, but it’s starting so high that it will almost surely remain well above-average.

Long story short: Boogie’s per game stats are suppressed by fouls, minutes restrictions, and the fact that the Warriors can afford to take it slow with him. But the stats from the minutes he does play are exceptional - nearly as exceptional as ever before.

And while we’re on the subject, here are two more fun stats. Cousins has drawn two charges, while Damian Jones, Kevon Looney, and Jordan Bell have combined to draw three. Cousins has made six triples; Jones, Looney, and Bell have combined for one. He’s bringing new elements to the center position, even though he’s only played in five games.

As Cousins gets more comfortable physically, adapts more to his new situation, and continues to shake off the rust, he’ll only get better and better. But for now, he’s been as good as advertised, and a little more.

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