DeMarcus Cousins is still a young man, at just 24 years old. At times, in the past, he has seemed like the game was not something he was fully ready to understand what his role was as the teams main player and leader. And has certainly not shown leadership skills before. But it looks as if DeMarcus is looking to develop his place in the game for his team.
While the bad attitude he has carried on his shoulders for his 4 NBA seasons have been a justifiable, non stop criticism on him, his team is needing him to step in and be the leader for the team. Cousins seems to have been stepping into that leadership role that he probably should have been for years. Especially after the new contract he pulled in.
With his career of hot headed antics and flare for the dramatic, Cousins has led the league in the technical fouls category, not a good stat to lead in, obviously. Being off the floor or causing the opposing teams to have time to score more points is not what anyone should be doing, let alone a leader. In 2013 he had 16, and 17 in the 2012 season. Obviously getting ejected, and getting techs isn’t going to help the Kings win games, and that is what he has needed to straighten out first and foremost.
Coming from way behind the rest of his teammates, because things didn’t go the way you wanted them too, simply cannot be tolerated anymore. It’s time to grow up and be the player that you have the ability to be. Bottom line, Cousins is the face of the franchise. It’s time to start acting like that, And be the leader on the team. It’s time to make this a new start. Time to become everything you can be. And in 2014 he has been taking that very seriously so far.
Demarcus has at times, settled for the mid range jumper when he shouldn’t have. But, last season his mid range shots started getting knocked down with better consistently, this season he has been more aggressive getting the the hoop as well. 70% of his shots have been within 10 ft of the rim this season. And also, with him closer to the rim, and in the paint more. making his presence become a bigger factor for teams to deal with as well on offense.
Slimming down, has also kept him from getting tired sooner, so that will just continue to add to his growth. And with Head Coach Mike Malone sticking him under the rim more, instead of always having him at the top of the key is breaking things open for him even more. Don’t get me wrong, Cousins has the ability to be a dangerous mid range shooter, and his catch-and-shoot ability has been very good made by the guard play of Darren Collison.
At this point in his career, he is one of the league’s most dominant bigs. He can score, rebound and also passing the ball. 24/12 on the year in the first handful of games. And he is a defensive guy who while playing motivated can make plays. The biggest knock, was team defense as a whole, needs to improve. They have been giving up 101 a game so far, slightly better than last season.
Playing the 4 or the 5 is one of the hardest roles defensively. If one of the guards lets his man get by he then have to rotate over. Many times last season, players left DeMarcus out on an island, then he would catch the blame because he couldn’t come up with the stops all the time. Now granted it is his job to rotate over and cover for that, but honestly, there really are just a handful of bigs that can quickly rotate over to help, and then get back before the outlet pass happens. And this year his rim protection has been very good.
This season he has been refining his game, and has been playing great so far. Using his physical strength and his offensive skills, he could be the one, to carry the Kings out of the NBA’s group of cellar dwellars, and make them something to watch.
As far as his leadership, we will see as the season continues on. It’s amazing how simply changing your approach, carrying yourself, and stopping with the death glares after anything that doesn’t go your way, can make everyone around you play better. But let’s see it put forth, lets not just hear the talk.
Walk the walk. Written by TonyK of VegasTopDogs.com