OAKLAND (CBS SF) — It’s adjustment time again for Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins, but that’s been the theme for his entire 2018-2019 NBA season.
Cousins tore his Achilles tendon late last year while playing for the New Orleans Pelicans. He was not as sought after as he thought he’d be in the free agent market while he was on the mend in the off-season.
But no one really thought he’d take a major pay cut and join the two-time NBA Champion Warriors. Then he did.
As the months of rehab wore on, questions arose over how Cousins unique skill set would blend in with one of the league’s most unselfish lineups. He would have to adjust to being just one of the weapons, not the main one.
“It’s very strange for DeMarcus,” head coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “When you are used to being the main option and then you step into a role where you have to more of a complimentary piece — it’s not easy, but he’s done a really good job this year.”
Cousins also is getting used to being in the playoffs. Saturday night’s opener against the Los Angeles Clippers was the first post-season game of his career. He ended up with nine points, nine rebounds, four assists and six turnovers in the Warriors win.
But he seemed lost at times and was on the bench during key stretches.
“The playoffs are different because the strategy really becomes a much bigger deal,” Kerr said. “Teams are ready for you…It’s all about adjusting and adapting. DeMarcus will learn. I think he’ll adapt really well to how teams are playing him and playing Draymond (Green), but we have to do it as a team too and that’s what the film sessions are for. What our practices are for.”
“But I’m very confident that he’ll be in a better space as this thing goes and he feels it.”
However, Kerr said that DeMarcus’ playing time will be impacted when the Warriors go to their ‘death line-up’ — Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green at center.
“It’s the best five-man unit in the league,” Kerr said. “We’ll play that lineup more often than we did in the regular season.”