Warriors: Time To Boogie
(originally written 6/13/19)
DeMarcus Cousins spent the entire first half of the 2018-19 season recovering from his torn Achilles, as you know. During that time he was little more than an afterthought to me. In fact, it annoyed me when announcers would mention his name along with other notable injuries ("Warriors win tonight without Green, without Curry, and without Cousins!") Uh, the Warriors have won every game in their history without Cousins, why is this noteworthy?
If you had told me Cousins had a chance to shift the NBA Finals in June, I'd have laughed at you. If you had told anyone else Cousins had a chance to shift the NBA Finals in June, they might have bought in, but I would have never thought Boogie could be any sort of difference-maker for this Golden State squad.
He was not brought in to be a difference-maker. He was brought in because he was available on the cheap—the Warriors certainly didn't NEED him at the time, especially not knowing what "him" they'd be left with once the Achilles healed. Cousins was a luxury, a depth piece. Wins wouldn't depend on him, only the point differential would.
But here we are with entirely different circumstances. 26 points of the Warriors offense is laid up in a bed somewhere, and a crucial Warriors defender/rebounder is being held together by glue.
Dare I say it out loud: The Dubs now need DeMarcus Cousins.
They need him to help Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry score because let's face it, they can't count on scoring from anybody else right now—the whole roster has been hot and cold all series as they fend off a better-than-expected Toronto Raptors defense. They need Cousins to use his big body and fend off hungry Toronto offensive rebounders who took advantage of the one-armed Kevon Looney in Game 5.
They need Cousins to be...Cousins. He doesn't necessarily have to dominate—though that'd certainly be welcomed—but he has to be useful. No trio of turnovers in two minutes like in Game 4, no long vanishing acts. Game 2 or Game 5 Cousins is ideal. Game 2 or Game 5 Cousins could help bring home a title, just as Game 3 or Game 4 Cousins could darn well cost the Warriors one.
Yes, it's come to that.
Prior to Game 5, when it was clear Durant would play, it was reported that coach Steve Kerr wouldn't use Cousins. Unsurprisingly, Cousins was not thrilled with this development, even coming off consecutive mediocre NBA Finals games with no guarantee of a reversal, not with his diminished health.
None of that matters now.
If Cousins comes to Boogie, terrific—the Dubs have never needed him more. But if he doesn't, Kerr has got to yank him, no matter the ego blow, no matter the scowling and fussing. As much as the Warriors need DeMarcus Cousins tonight, they need the right one, not some second-rate version rendered ineffective by his quad or anything else.
Let's Go Warriors! See You Sunday!