Tag:DeMarcus Cousins
Posted on: February 13, 2011 3:21 am
Edited on: February 13, 2011 3:39 am
 

DeMarcus Cousins suspended by Kings

DeMarcus Cousins was suspended by the Kings late Saturday night following a locker room incident involving Donté Greene.
Posted by Matt Moore

DeMarcus Cousins is arguably already the league's most volatile player. Prone to fights with opponents and even his own coaches, it would seem his frustrations have now boiled over into conflict with teammates. FanHouse reports that Cousins has been suspended for at least the upcoming three-game roadtrip following a locker room altercation with Donté Greene that came to blows. Perhaps most stunning is the source of the argument. Cousins has reportedly become increasingly upset about Tyreke Evans' late game decision making and the coaching staff's reaction, culminating in Cousins yelling at Evans following the Kings' loss to the Thunder Saturday night, "from (the) tunnel to the locker room." 

Cousins has already been fined by the coaching staff, kicked out of practice, and benched for a premature choking gesture. In-between he's averaging 14 points and 8 rebounds, grabbing 17% of all available boards, shooting 44% from the field (a huge blemish) and has a league-average-ish PER of 15. He's a player with tremendous upside and ability, who just wants to win. But there are ways of dealing with that kind of passion, and Cousins has expressed all the wrong ones. 

The Kings have to find a structure to rebuild around, and if Cousins and Evans are incompatible, that's going to have to be established early. GM Geoff Petrie was right to act quickly and try and snuff this but furthermore, if the Kings decide Evans is the future and they can't rectify this rift, one of them will have to go. Furthermore, Paul Westphal and Petrie will have to figure out if the kid is worth the considerable headache he's providing them by continually being this much of a pain.  Good teams can't afford distractions of this magnitude, especially out of a rookie, let alone struggling squads like the Kings. 
Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: February 2, 2011 11:29 am
 

Game Changer: LMA drops 40

The Rockets keep bugging the Lakers, DMC gets into it with KG, and LaMarcus Aldridge has the game of his life, all in today's Game Changer. 
Posted by Matt Moore

THE BIG ONE: LMA TAKES OVER TO KEEP PORTLAND ALIVE

LaMarcus Aldridge has become a complete player this season, and has gone from good player to star. No further proof is needed beyond the performance Aldridge gave Tuesday night in the Blazers' 99-86 win over the Western-Conference-leading San Antonio Spurs. Aldridge dropped 40 on the Spurs, with a barrage of inside layups, dunks, and perimeter mid-range jumpers. See for yourself, in the shot chart from our GameTracker: 



7-13 on jumpers? That'll do, LMA. That'll do. Aldridge made a strong case for All-Star reserve in front of the coach for the Western team, not only with his shooting display to go along with 11 rebounds.  Aldridge has become the focal point of the Blazers, and he's the reason they're hanging onto the 8th spot in the West. That Aldridge has become the focal point after so often being passed over by Blazers management and fans is equally notable. First it was Brandon Roy, then Greg Oden, then Andre Miller, and most recently sophomore Wesley Matthews. But with Roy and Oden on the shelf, Miller marginalized by age, and Matthews still learning consistency, it's fallen upon Aldridge to shoulder the team. And he's risen to that challenge. 

Patty Mills at one point lobbed a dangerous, ill-advised pass into traffic for Aldridge. Mills knew it was a poor pass, but trusted in Aldridge to make a play. Aldridge nabbed the pass and nearly threw it down, drawing a foul. That's trust in your star, and the Blazers have it. That Aldridge has had to wait so long to reach this level must make it all the more worth it. Always the consolation prize, with the Blazers hopes for a title run with their young core vanished into a mist of lost opportunities, Aldridge is now the Blazers' best hope moving forward. He's a legitimate star to build around. 

For the Spurs, this game serves as a warning. The Spurs had no one to extend their perimeter defense against Aldridge with.  DeJuan Blair is not mobile enough and Duncan is unable to cover the distance and recover. As a result, Aldridge dropped the array of mid-range top-of-the-key shots you see above.  It's his sweet spot, just as Dirk's is the corner elbow, and David West's is the 16-foot baseline. All give the Spurs problems. Stretch fours are a problem for the Spurs, and they're going to be seeing a lot of them in the playoffs. Meanwhile, their offense sputtered and their defense wasn't able to hit the gear they're going to need in the playoffs.

Not the way they wanted to start the rodeo road trip. 


GO-GO-GADGET LINE OF THE NIGHT:

Aldridge, obviously.

Runners-Up:

Kobe Bryant: 32 points, 6 rebounds, 11 assists

Luis Scola: 24 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists

AN UGLY COIN FLIP

The Celtics and Kings engaged in a pretty brutal standoff with the officials Tuesday night. The Celtics played their usual brand of brutal, physical, abrasive style, swiping, clubbing, shouldering, and creating so much contact the officials couldn't call everything. And when they did call something, the Celtics reacted with their usual outpouring of incredulity. What the Celtics weren't expecting was for the Kings to attempt the same approach. The Kings sped the pace up, which the Celtics hate, and then got aggressive down low, repeatedly blocking Kendrick Perkins, Kevin Garnett, and Glen Davis. That helped the Kings to a three-possession lead, which of course the Kings blew down the stretch when their entire offense came unglued as the Celtics buckled down. 

The most interesting part of the game was the interaction between DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Garnett. Garnett did his usual "Look at me, I'm so crazy" act, hitting himself and mumbling obscenities. Cousins, for the most part, seemed off-put by Garnett's defense of him in the post, which involved a lot of slapping at the ball, missing, and hitting Cousins, then predictably getting the call because it's Kevin Garnett versus a rookie.  Cousins did mouth off to Garnett once, prompting Rajon Rondo to try and ease him back with his hand, which caused Cousins to slap the hand away, ending in Rondo shoving him and drawing a technical. It was a weird mirror image to Garnett's own behavior, if obviously less mature. 

Cousins was brilliant on offense, hitting everything from tap-backs and fadeaways to three-pointers.  But on defense, he too often lazed around getting back, didn't commit off-ball, and wound up in poor position. Imagine if the kid had a work ethic. 

LAKERS FINALLY FIGURE OUT THEY'RE TALL

The Lakers needed a win, and an injured, short-handed, small, poor defensively Rockets team was the perfect cure for what ails them.  Of course, for 48 minutes, the Lakers refused to take their medicine, and the Rockets used crack perimeter shooting and savvy ball movement to outwit the Lakers on their way to overtime. The Lakers would make a run by being tall and very good at basketball, the Rockets would call timeout, and then the Lakers would completely go away from everything that worked previously. Sure, the Lakers were missing Andrew Bynum. But the Rockets were missing Yao Ming, obviously, so it's not like they were full strength.

Meanwhile Pau Gasol drifted and drifted until overtime. Kobe Bryant dished seven assists before he scored 7 points in the first quarter, then started to take over offensively again.  Guess when the Rockets came back?  Meanwhile, he went back to distributing and finding Lamar Odom late, which allowed the Lakers to close the deficit and force overtime. In the extra period, it was simple physics.  The Lakers are tall and long, the Rockets are short.  The end. 

It wasn't a great win for the Lakers, but it's a win, and it's a start for their way back.
Posted on: February 1, 2011 6:33 pm
Edited on: February 1, 2011 7:11 pm
 

NBA announces Rookie / Sophomore All-Star rosters

The NBA has announced the rosters for it's annual rookie vs. sophomore challenge game during All-Star weekend. Posted by Ben Golliver. griffin-evans

It seems like we say this every year, but, on paper, the Sophomores are going to absolutely destroy the Rookies in this year's Rookie Challenge. The NBA released the rosters for the two teams on Tuesday, and the Sophomores tout reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans, along with his stiff competition for that award: Brandon Jenning and Stephen Curry

The Rookies pair up the lock for 2011 Rookie of the Year, Blake Griffin, and John Wall, which is a match made in highlight heaven. Past those two, and perhaps DeMarcus Cousins and glue guy Landry Fields, the talent level tails off pretty hard, pretty fast. 

Here's the full list of names, via the NBA. 
Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans, the reigning T-Mobile  Rookie of the Year, and Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin, the only  player  in  the  NBA  averaging at least 20 points, 12 rebounds and three assists, lead a list of 18 players selected for the 2011 T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam to be held on Friday, Feb. 18, in Los Angeles during NBA All-Star 2011.
The participants in the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam were selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches, with each team submitting one ballot. 

Joining  Evans  on  the Sophomore team are: San Antonio Spurs center DeJuan Blair, Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, Toronto Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls forward Taj Gibson, Philadelphia 76ers guard Jrue Holiday, Oklahoma City Thunder forward/center Serge Ibaka, Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, and Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews.

Washington Wizards guard John Wall, the top selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, joins Griffin on the Rookie team, which also includes: Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe, Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins, New Jersey Nets forward Derrick Favors, New York Knicks guard Landry Fields, Minnesota Timberwolves guard Wesley Johnson, Detroit Pistons center Greg Monroe, and San Antonio Spurs guard Gary Neal.
While this is barely worth noting because we're talking about an exhibition game, Blair, Gibson, Ibaka and Matthews all boast post-season experience and combine to possess a fair bit of basketball intelligence. And by that I mean: they'll play harder than most, but when Blake Griffin is about to make one of his posters they'll be savvy enough to get out of the way. 

One other footnote: DeRozan, Ibaka and Griffin will all be in the Slam Dunk contest as well. 

I can't wait for this game. There's a distinct possibility that Wall could throw Griffin an alley-oop from the far baseline, setting a Guiness record in the process.
Posted on: January 3, 2011 12:03 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2011 8:08 pm
 

The Game Changer: Memphis mauls the Lakers

Posted by Royce Young

Each game is made up of elements which help formulate the outcome. Monday through Friday, we'll bring you the elements from the night before's games in our own specialized version of the game recaps. It's not everything that happened, but it's an insight into what lead to the results you'll see in the box scores. This is the Game Changer.

THE BIG ONE: MEMPHIS WALKS OVER L.A.

This really was kind of a bizarro game. The Lakers fell behind early to a quicker, more athletic Grizzlies team and never had the firepower to really make up the deficit.

It was basically the formula you see good teams use to beat bad ones. A couple 6-2 runs placed in between bigger 10-2 ones and before you know it, the margin is 20. And that's what the Grizzlies did to the Lakers all night.

Kobe tried to shoot the Lakers back into the game late finishing with a fourth quarter flurry of points, but it was too late. Rudy Gay had already done too much damage, Zach Randolph had already had his way inside and O.J. Mayo had already gotten hot from outside.

Obviously the look here is at the Lakers who have lost again, this time big against a sub-.500 team. But really, shouldn't we be impressed a little with the Grizzlies? They've started playing much better the past few games and take away Tyreke Evans' miracle and they've won four of five. As it stands, they're three below .500 but have three straight tough ones playing the Thunder twice and the Jazz in the middle.

But while the Lakers will gain most of the chatter for getting worked over by Memphis, I think it's at least courteous to give a little credit where credit is due. The Lakers don't lose just by playing bad. Someone had to make them do it. And the Grizzlies did Sunday.

GO-GO-GADGET LINES

Blake Griffin had a very Blake Griffin night. Big highlights and 31 point and 15 rebounds.

DeAndre Jordan was actually quite good as well: six points, 12 rebounds and six blocks

DeMarcus Cousins had the best game of his young career with 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists

Danny Granger finished with 25 points and 17 rebounds in a loss to the Knicks.

Antwan Jamison dropped 35 and pulled in 10 boards, but the Cavs lost to the Mavericks.

RONDO RETURNS, BOSTON WINS

It wasn't against a great team or anything, but the Celtics got Rajon Rondo back and took care of business, dispersing the Raptors. Paul Pierce scored 30 on 15 shots, but it was having Rondo back that was the story. He played 34 minutes, scored four points and ` out eight assists, but just his presence commandeering the Celtics was a huge difference.

With Rondo, there's a different level of execution. The spacing is terrific and the team plays just with a looser, more confident feel to it.

Getting Kevin Garnett back is the next goal, but just having Rondo on the floor again is nice for Boston.

MAVS BEAT CAVS

For Cleveland, that's 17 out of 18 in the loss column. For the Mavericks, it's now one out of four without Dirk Nowitzki. I just thought that was worth pointing out. Plus I wanted to say "Mavs beat Cavs."

PORTLAND GETS A LEG UP

In a battle for the now-getting-more-and-more-interesti
ng eight-seed spot, the Trail Blazers took down the Rockets behind a big game from Nicolas Batum and LaMarcus Aldridge.

Even without Brandon Roy when the Blazers play in the open floor the way they did, they look like a capable playoff team. They always defend, they always rebound, but it's the offensive execution where sometimes they lack. But against the Rockets, everything was on point especially when the Blazers ran.

Houston has been coming on strong lately, and a team Portland will likely be fighting with for months to come. It's not a statement so much as it's a leg up on the nearest competition. The Blazers are potentially good enough to solidify themselves as an eight-seed or higher contender despite injuries, but winning games against the direct competition is key.

Paul Pierce SMASHY

Blake Griffin had himself another stellar finish yesterday, but Paul Pierce gets the dunk award for the day with this Griffinesque cram.


PARTING THOUGHT

The Clippers did a very Clipper thing by blowing a late lead over the Hawks by surrendering 37 fourth quarter points. This Clipper team has some really nice pieces. But they're obviously one of those young groups that isn't exactly sure how to win or finish. They keep reminding me of the Thunder from two years ago. Clearly talented but just not ready to win consistently. Patience is key here, but I think by April, we're going to have reason to be impressed.
Posted on: December 30, 2010 12:54 am
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:54 pm
 

Tyreke Evans' 50 foot game-winning buzzer beater

Sacramento Kings guard Tyreke Evans hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer to beat the Memphis Grizzlies. Posted by Ben Golliver A game between the lowly Sacramento Kings and the mediocre Memphis Grizzlies isn't exactly a high-profile match-up, but Kings guard Tyreke Evans provided a Hollywood finish in Northern California on Wednesday night, burying a game-winning buzzer beater from behind half court.  With the Kings leading 97-96, the Memphis Grizzlies inbounded the ball in the frontcourt. Grizzlies guard O.J. Mayo hit a fallaway jumper from 20 feet over Evans, to put the Grizzlies up, 98-97.  With 1.5 seconds left on the clock, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins then inbounded the ball to Evans. Standing near the free throw line, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year took one dribble and gather the ball at his waist, releasing his shot attempt from just behind halfcourt. The shot went in cleanly on the fly, nothing but net, and the Kings bench and Arco Arena crowd immediately erupted in joy. Evans and his teammates jumped up on the scorer's table briefly to celebrate, and he was mobbed by well-wishers on the court. A review of the play confirmed that Evans released the ball before time expired, giving the Kings an improbable 100-98 last-second victory. Here's the video. To make this shot even more remarkable, Evans has been battling foot pain for some time, and said earlier this week that he was considering a laser procedure to relieve the pain. The procedure could potentially sideline him for months. With the win, the Kings improve to 6-23. The Grizzlies fall to 14-18.
Posted on: December 24, 2010 4:17 pm
Edited on: December 24, 2010 5:08 pm
 

What went wrong with Westphal's Kings?

What's it going to take to move in another direction for the Kings?
Posted by Matt Moore

Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reports that both Geoff Petrie and Paul Wesphal are under significant fire in Sacramento, despite Joe Maloof denying the report, sticking by both his general manager and head coach for what he says is the remainder of the season.

The question is why wouldn't you ditch Westphal at this point?

It's not that the Kings have taken a step back, or failed to take a step forward. It's that they've plunged backwards so far they can't even see the dismal finish they suffered through last year. They've simply failed in every phrase of the game, and in addition they're having significant issues with personnel.

Tyreke Evans has regressed. Whether that's related to injury, personal issues, a move to shooting guard, or just a sophomore slump, it's significant and it's holding back the franchise. That the rest of the team seems to not trust or follow Evans is as much of a problem. But DeMarcus Cousins? That's a whole other matter.

Cousins has clashed with the coaching staff so often he's been fined for it. He's shopping for a suspension, and because of his attitude, there seems to be a general dissent regarding Cousins by the rest of the locker room. They find him obnoxious and far too immature. Which he is. But at some point, the coaching staff is going to have to reign him in and find a way to help him grow into a professional. That's part of their job. And as of now, Westphal and his staff have been nothing but Principal Skinners to Cousin's Bart Simpson. It's not working on any level.

So to recap, the team's not playing well. The rookie of the year has regressed significantly and the next great rookie is one stop short of spray-painting the locker room and toilet-papering Westphal's house. The question is not whether Westphal has failed. The question is what it's going to take to move in another direction for the Maloof's. Meanwhile, a bad situation gets worse.
Posted on: December 22, 2010 7:41 pm
 

Cousins chokes on his choke, gets benched for it

Posted by Royce Young

Before the draft, most agreed: DeMarcus Cousins was the most gifted player in the draft. The hangup? His head. Scouts and general managers all over wondered if he was simply immature or if he had the potential to be one of the league's newest head cases.

So far, it's looking like the latter.

Against the Warriors Tuesday night with the Kings (who are 5-21, mind you) holding a five-point lead with about 20 seconds left, Golden State's Reggie Williams missed a free throw. Cousins walked off his low block position, put his hand to his throat and made a pretty clear choking gesture directed at Williams.



What happened next is what made this kind of a big deal. The Kings ended up the chokers, blowing the lead capped by a Vladamir Radmanovic 3-pointer to send the game to overtime where naturally, Sacramento lost.

According to the Sac Bee's Jason Jones, Kings coach Paul Westphal said Cousins has been fined and benched until he grows up and acts more "professional."

"It’s unprofessional, childish, embarrassing and it won’t be tolerated," Westphal told reporters.

Cousins, on the gesture: "It was immature. I was caught up in the game and let my emotions get the best of me and shouldn’t have done it. But if I would have did it and we won it probably wouldn’t have had the same consequences afterward. "

Cousins obviously has some stuff to learn. He's been criticized a bit this season already for being lazy and has been kicked out of a few practices for different issues. However, a benching and a fine for a clearly silly gesture seems a bit extreme. Cousins said he doesn't think he would've been punished had the Kings won. He's probably right, because nobody would've really taken notice.

But at the same time, Cousins is walking down a path of being a problem player and Westphal is trying to teach his young big man a lesson. My problem here is, is that message getting through? Because to me, it doesn't look like Westphal has any idea how to get through to Cousins. To me, it seems like everything is bouncing off.

I'm sure Westphal got the attention of Cousins for this, but what happens when Cousins really screws up? What does he get then? A month suspension? A $500,000 fine? Because for this little thing, Cousins has been hit with a stiff penalty. From here on, anything Cousins does will require an even bigger penalty. Is that the best way to get the most out of an immature player? Probably not.

Westphal is citing sportsmanship and professionalism in regards to the punishment. He's right. It was stupid for Cousins to do. He should be embarrassed. And when the Kings visit Oracle Arena, Warrior fans are going to punish him even more. Was what Cousins did stupid? Absolutely. Is it something he derserved a strong talking to for, possibly with bad language littered in? Definitely. But benched and fined for it? That's a bit, well, over-the-top it seems.

But the whole point of this shouldn't be about PR or making yourself look like you're in control. It has to be about what's best for your young player. It has to be about developing both his talent and his head. Does Westphal's punishment do that? I don't think so at all. He's probably not reaching Cousins at all here. Just making the gap even wider.
Posted on: December 21, 2010 9:32 am
 

Shootaround: Shaq and the Boston Pops

Shaq with the Boston Pops, Magic struggle in debut, Cousins the sensitive soul, and are the Clippers actually rolling? All this and more in today's Shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore

Very quietly, Al Horford is having a stellar season. Hoopinion takes a look at how his season stacks up against Dwight Howard, and finds that Horford isn't so far off from the MVP candidate center. 

A stellar profile of DeMarcus Cousins through the lens of the support network the Kings brought in from Kentucky for him, in the form of a dude half his size

Chris Mannix of SI examines the debut of the new-look Orlando Magic and comes to the same conclusion we came to about the new-look Heat. It's going to take some time: "Orlando needs practice time. Badly. But with four games this week they won't get much of it and will have to contend with a murderers' row of games through Christmas. The Magic will host Dallas (Tuesday), San Antonio (Thursday) and Boston (Saturday). Along with Atlanta that's four talented, cohesive teams Orlando will be up against as they try to incorporate the new players into the system. Each game will undoubtedly draw a lot of attention, but expectations should be ratcheted down; this Magic team will look markedly different than the one playing in March."

So.... this happened: 




Kevin Love thinks the Wolves are immature, and that someone needs to lead them. He's willing to do the job.

Kobe's got his own mosaic at the Lower Marion high school he used to attend. It's really very sweet.  Unfortunately, the mosaic keeps screaming at everyone who does anything imperfectly. 

Not all Cavs fans are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Dan Gilbert, and one's gone so far as to take out advertising on Basketball-Reference.com to show his or her disapproval. 

Holly MacKenzie gives an insight into the shy world of Derrick Rose, even as he becomes a stronger leader each day.

Probably the best breakdown of Kris Humphries you're ever going to see. 

The Clippers have won three in a row, with two by 20 points or more. So... the Clips are actually rolling?
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com