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Tag:DeMarcus Cousins
Posted on: December 10, 2010 2:47 pm
Edited on: December 10, 2010 2:49 pm
 

F&R Quarterly Report: 1st Quarter Good and Bad

Here's a look at the 1st quarter and what we've taken away from it.
Posted by Matt Moore




We're a quarter in to the season, and it hasn't gone exactly according to plan. Some things we thought would happen, some things we didn't. As we head towards the season being halfway through, here's a look back at the first quarter of the season and what we thought about it.

MVP: As Ben Golliver will be telling you later, Dwight Howard makes a pretty strong case for first quarter MVP. Royce and I wound up on the Big German's side of the aisle, though. With the Mavericks on a ridiculous winning streak (make it 11 after blasting the Comrade's Nyetzkies on Thursday night), Nowitzki has been off the charts so far this year. The Mavericks look better this year because of their depth and their defense, but without Nowitzki, they'd still be nowhere.

As Nowitzki's career begins to wind down (we think?), it's important to let go of the past where people questioned Dirk's intensity, toughness, and clutchness. He's been one of the best players in the world for the past ten years, and the fact that he's still putting together stretches of games like this only confirms that. Don't believe me? Check the elbow.

ROY: Boy, was I wrong . Again. John Wall hasn't been a slouch by any means, but to compare the impact the two has on the court is to examine the ballistic missile barrage that is Blake Griffin on a nightly basis. It's not just the dunks (but trust us, we'll get there). It's things like the way he absolutely blew Lamar Odom off the block, and his intensity and athleticism while rebounding. It's the way that even though this Clippers team has no hope of winning on any given night, Griffin looks like he's dying for a win, to try, to compete. He's the only unanimous pick for a reason.

Biggest Surprise: We're split between the Knicks, who were supposed to be better but not this better, and the Pacers, who were supposed to be bad and are really pretty good. Amar'e Stoudemire has the Knicks rolling, and Danny Granger alongside Roy Hibbert is making up one of the best frontcourts in the NBA this year. Great to see teams surprise us in a good way.

Best Overall Performance: We're all very impressed with the Celtics, basically. Except Ken. But we think that's because he had a bad cab ride. Maybe it was bad chowder. No, couldn't be that, there's no such thing as bad chowder in Boston. Probably the cab ride. Anyway, the rest of us are completely horrified of Boston coming into our homes at night and subjugate us under their imperial rule.

Biggest Letdown: Ken and Ben (hey, that rhymes!) have a soft spot in their hearts for the sad plight of the Blazers' health. I'm more concerned about Houston and why they're not competing among the West's elite (but they're getting there), and Royce has the same question about the Bucks in the East. If you couldn't see this coming in Portland... you probably haven't been paying attention for the past, oh, forty years.

Ticking Time-Bomb: While Ben Golliver frets over Chris Paul continuing to keep his cards close to his vest, the rest of us are alarmed at how DeMarcus Cousins seems hell-bent on alienating his teammates and coaches. Tick, tick, tick.

Best dunk: Yeah, sorry, not going to be able to get over this, regardless of whether he traveled or not :





Here's a look at our votes for the first quarter of the 2010-2011 season.




Posted on: November 29, 2010 9:44 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 9:06 pm
 

DeMarcus Cousins kicked out of Kings practice

Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins was kicked out of practice by coach Paul Westphal on Monday. Posted by Ben Golliverdemarcus-cousins The Sacramento Bee reported on Twitter that Kings rookie big man DeMarcus Cousins, a highly-talented but polarizing one-and-done out of Kentucky, "was kicked out of practice" on Monday by head coach Paul Westphal, but that Westphal "didn't elaborate as to why." AOL Fanhouse reported that Cousins is "not happy and it's showing. Source close to team says he had numerous arguments with Westphal today at practice that led to booting." There's plenty of cause for consternation for Westphal, as the Kings are in last place in the Pacific Division, have lost 10 of their last 11 games and calls for his job by fans have already begun. He's tasked with trying to figure out why reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans has seemingly taken a half-step back this season, and he's trying to shake up his starting lineup by inserting Jason Thompson for Carl Landry. At a time like that, impatience with the slightest bit of insubordination is understandable. The stakes are pretty high and the entire environment feels tenuous. For Cousins, his playing time has been up and down, and he played just 15 minutes in a Saturday loss to the Chicago Bulls. He entered the NBA with the perception that he had a shot at averaging a double-double and contending for Rookie of the Year honors. He was said to be a potential franchise big man in the short-term, but so far he's averaging just 10.3 points and 6.7 minutes, coming off the bench more than starting. He's also been involved in a few minor team discipline issues and was assessed a fine in the first quarter of the season.  Almost certainly, more minutes will ease Cousins' frustration. Winning a bit more would help too, but it's a lot easier for rookies to handle losing while playing than losing while watching. The question here is whether Cousins can do and say the right things for long enough to convince his coach that he deserves the burn. 
Posted on: November 12, 2010 7:05 pm
 

Report: DeMarcus Cousins fined by Kings

Kings rookie forward clashes with coaching staff and is fined. Posted by Matt Moore

DeMarcus Cousins has reportedly recently been fined by the Sacramento Kings for clashes with the coaching staff.

I'm going to give you a second to get over your shock. I know. A gentle soul like DeMarcus Cousins? A sweet, humble, coachable guy like Cousins? How could this happen? What did those coaches do to provoke him like this? Maybe it was Calipari! Yeah, that's it. Calipari warped him!

Okay, so anyway, ESPN reports that Cousins was fined after not just an isolated incident, but a series of incidents that has created an air of tension.

You had to see this coming. This is part of the package. They brought in a coach from his youth just to try and keep him in line. They've done their part in trying to deal with him. That's not to say they shouldn't fine him. That's part of the process, too. But this still wasn't part of the initial best-case-scenario.

Cousins basic stats, 11 and 6, aren't great. But his per-40 numbers are terrific (a double-double) and all his advanced stats look great for a rook, too. It may be time for him to get the ball more if he can stay out of foul trouble (he's also averaging 8.0 fouls per 40). The Kings are certainly not getting it done with him in doses. Not the start the Kings wanted for this season, which was supposed to be one of growth for them.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 2:14 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2011 8:02 pm
 

Sacramento Kings owner: we won't contract or sell

Sacramento Kings owner Gavin Maloof says his team will not be contracted or sold. Posted by Ben Golliver maloof-brothers
 
The hot topic in the NBA this week has been the possibility of contraction, and how and why it's being used as a negotiating technique as the players and the owners work to create a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.  When the story first broke earlier this week, I took a look at how the idea could be seen as an "either you're in or you're out" challenge to small-market owners, a dare to struggling owners to fold, sell, or relocate so that they do not create unnecessary complications later on down the road during negotiations with the players.  That brings us to the Sacramento Kings, who are in a small market, have been embroiled in a lengthy struggle to get a new arena, have been linked to the city of Seattle in rumors, and who have struggled financially since falling from their glory days earlier this decade. On Saturday, Kings co-owner Gavin Maloof stated unequivocally to Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee that his franchise should not be linked with the recent talk of contraction, even after NBA Commissioner David Stern expressed frustration on Friday with the Kings' inability to get a new arena approved in Sacramento. 
"My optimism on there being a new building (in Sacramento) has faded completely," Stern said. "We really tried hard, the Maloofs spent a good deal of money. … And frankly, it wasn't meant to be.
"I don't have any more good ideas. Where we flow on that, right now we have a season to worry about, and I know that the Maloofs are spending their time feeling really good about their Rookie of the Year last year, their draft choice this year, their coach and the general makeup of their team."
Upon hearing Stern's quote, Gavin Maloof told The Bee: "We're not contracting. That's not going to happen. No way we'll fold – and no way we're selling."
Gavin Maloof and his brothers are widely regarded as a strong ownership group with a deep commitment to their organization. With a solid, developing young nucleus that includes 2010 Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans and 2011 Rookie of the Year candidate DeMarcus Cousins, the team is only on the rise, both basketball-wise and finances-wise. These statements are a promising sign for Kings fans and they stand as an example league-wide, too: bullying struggling clubs won't produce instant results. With that said, surely Kings fans are reading Maloof's quote and asking themselves why he didn't explicitly rule out the possibility of relocation. While relocation is surely a better option than contraction for any NBA team, there wouldn't be a tangible difference between the two for Kings fans.
Posted on: October 12, 2010 11:10 pm
 

Dalembert out 4-6 weeks with abductor strain

Posted by Royce Young

First, I definitely had to Google "abductor strain." (It's a strain of the muscle that's between the groin and the hip.) And that's what Kings' center Samuel Dalembert has, as confirmed by an MRI and announced by the team late Tuesday. The timetable for Dalembert's return is 4-6 weeks.

Two things come out of this: 1) It's a pretty big blow to a team that was really counting on Dalembert for inside help. Granted, he'll only miss a handful of regular season games, but muscle injuries like this aren't anything to rush back from. It can linger and be aggravated again any time throughout the year. And 2) This could be a big opportunity for DeMarcus Cousins.

Dalembert was locked in as the opening night starter for Sacramento at center, despite Cousins' outstanding preseason play. Now, however, Cousins will get serious playing time. The Kings could decide to move Jason Thompson to the 5 if they aren't comfortable starting Cousins yet, but regardless, the rookie should see a lot of floor time.

This hurts the Kings though because Dalembert is such an influential force defensively and on the glass. For a team that struggled on the interior last season, especially on the defensive end in both protecting the rim and rebounding, Dalembert was seen as the perfect remedy. And as so often happens, now he's hurt.

He'll be back by mid-November so it's not devastating, plus there will be more time for DMC. So it's not all bad news bears. But it's definitely not how you want to start the season.
Posted on: October 6, 2010 5:45 pm
 

Kentucky duo setting the early pace for rookies

DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall have huge debuts in preseason to set the tone for the ROY chase this season. And it may not be close.
Posted by Matt Moore




Say what you want about John Calipari, he finds himself some NBA quality talent. After producing the previous two Rookie of the Year award winners in Derrick Rose and Tyreke Evans, Calipari may end up having more than one horse in the race this season. Both John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins were highly touted coming out of college, but through Summer League and their first preseason games, we're already getting a sense that it may be these two, and then everyone else for the top rook trophy.

Wall-Eyed


John Wall in his first game on an NBA floor? He was remarkable. Better than expected. Preseason? Sure. But you can't argue with the kind of production he provided, and not just the numbers that pop out to you. 21 points, 9 assists, 4 steals? Great. But he shot 42% from the field, and more importantly was 9-11 from the line.  Most crucial was just two turnovers despite having the ball that much. That's absolutely huge. That numbers will rise with better competition, but just to show the ability is huge for the Wizards as they look for him to become the future of the franchise.

But don't take my words for it. Here's what Wizards blog Bullets Forever had to say on the matter:

"It's possible I underestimated the effect of John coming at you in transition will have on his stats and the team's performance.  Dallas isn't exactly the fastest team in the world, but their only chance at stopping Wall coming at full speed was to foul him. 

Wall's half-court execution does still need work, especially his pick and roll offense.  He's still learning how to attack the pick in such a way where he actually uses it well.  But on the bright side, he didn't turn the ball over much and he realized that Dallas was often playing him to pass."


That's crucial. For some reason, beyond my comprehension, there's been this feeling that Wall's a natural scorer who will have to work to set other players up. If you watched him in college at Kentucky? You know that's not true. Wall more than any other player showed a skillset that fit passing in the NBA best. His drive and kick to the baseline jumper man was automatic, except it was college and no one hits that shot in college (except for Patrick Patterson). He establishes chemistry with a big man (JaVale McGee in Washington off the bat) and works to see him in transition. He's lightning quick but sees the floor at a slower pace.

Wall has the potential to distribute with this team, the question was if he'd be allowed to among veterans who like the ball. If the preseason holds any value whatsoever, that doesn't seem like a problem. Even Gilbert Arenas in his postgame comments made it clear . This is Wall's team. And if that's the case, that Rookie of the Year award is going to be within reach from the get go.

Run DMC in Full Effect

DeMarcus Cousins slipped all the way to the Kings at number five, and honestly, there was absolutely no reason for it. His character issues are all built around on-court blowups which aren't unheard of for a kid his age, and he hasn't been in off-court trouble since his sophomore year of high school. In the meantime, he was arguably the MVP of Calipari's Kentucky team.

Sacramento knows what they have in the combustible big and have marketed him all summer. Then in his preseason debut last night, he showed what he's capable of. 16 points, 16 rebounds, are you freaking kidding me? Check out the two highlights in the first starting at 37 seconds in here . That's what he's bringing, along with what was a good looking jumper.

Cousins has so much instinctive ability at the basket, and for a team looking to run this season, he focused last night on outlet passes. That's a terrifying concept for opponents, if he's able to finish in the post and start the break while bringing in rebounds. His wide body and instincts are going to bring those rebounds in, and preseason or no, 16 boards is a heck of a lot. Cousins already looks like the steal of the draft, and his physical assets put him a leg above Blake Griffin, even before the injury, though Griffin's upside is obviously huge.

Here's what Sactown Royalty had to say on the matter of "Boogie":

On defense, he was surprisingly active, contesting shots, denying his man position.  He still needs a bit of work, but I think he could be a quality defensive presence someday, especially with his knack for drawing charges.  Another nice thing about DeMarcus is that he eats rebounds and craps nice outlet passes.  Many a fastbreak was started last night after DMC corralled the board and threw it out to Tyreke or Beno.  His solid performance was not without flaws however, as he made a few silly mistakes with the ball (including once trying to run the ball up the floor himself after a rebound, leading to a quick turnover) which led to five turnovers, all but one of them because of careless mistakes that can be fixed with experience. 

Cousins' learning curve could be high as well, depending on how he and the coaching staff mesh, which of course gets back to the attitude questions. But with that kind of opening performance and the minutes he's getting from the start, it's clear Sacramento knows what they have with him. Alongside Tyreke Evans, Cousins has a great shot of being able to compete for the trophy based on opportunity and instincts.
Posted on: October 1, 2010 9:30 am
 

Shootaround 10.1.10: BIG

Teams that didn't win big, Philly's bigs need to come up big, and Jefferson just is big, all in today's Shootaround. Posted by Matt Moore

So we always debate the best championship teams. But what about the best teams that didn't win a title ? Dime took a look at those squads and added the 08-09 Cavs. It's hard to imagine that team holding up over time as we look back at Mo Williams' and Antawn Jamison's careers. The 2002 Sacramento Kings, though? That was a pretty great team. One objection? The 2007 Dallas Mavericks need to be on that list. Had the Mavericks not drawn the Warriors in the first round, it's hard to see how Cuban wouldn't be coveting his ring.

A Sonics fan tells Kings fans to pray , because the NBA doesn't care. It should be amended, though to "Pray, because the NBA doesn't care as long as you continually vote down measures for new stadiums. I'm not saying you should have to pay for new stadiums. I'm saying as long as you refeuse to, you open yourself up to getting Thunder'd. There's a reason Orlando fans are going to be enjoying the Amway Center this season while Sonics fans enjoy the Seahawks this fall.

A great feature on DeMarcus Cousins and his family history . There's so much talk about Cousins being a problem child, but he hasn't been in trouble since the tenth grade. I've never understood how a kid that hasn't had trouble in four years since he was a young teen is somehow a huge concern. Everyone's going to be regretting passing on Cousins when he and Reke are running the pick and roll for years.

The Daniel Orton era is pointing toward bustville. After being considered a reach to begin with, then getting worked over in Summer League, Orton will miss the entire preseason with a knee injury . Orton needs to spend time in the D-League, but the Magic almost never assign their players, which only increases the odds that Orton will flame out.

Speaking of big man injuries, Tiago Splitter tweaked his right leg yesterday (via Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears).

Sixers president Rod Thorn says their success is dependent on their bigs . Elton Brand is specifically pointed out in the excellent piece by SI's Chris Mannix, but Mareese Speights also needs to stay healthy and take steps into becoming a legit power forward. It's time for him to capitalize on that youthful potential and great per-minute numbers.

Take note of this. It may just be pillow talk. But Eric Spoelstra says that the unselfish play necessary to share the ball for the Heat is already there. That's really relevant for a team with such high usage. You need to be able to operate as an actual functioning offense so that you don't wind up looking like an All-Star team. You know. The kind that winds up with the ball off-court more than Anna Kournikova (remember her?).

International superstar Dirk Nowitzki? He's not so much a fan of the goaltending rule change being proposed .

Kobe's going to get some run in the international exhibition games . Because he's a freak of nature with no "off" button. There isn't another player who if they were at Bryant's level would wnat to play in these games with the injuries he's still recovering from. The man is more driven than any human being alive.

Al Jefferson may have showed up out of shape , but Jerry Sloan a. isn't pointing him out specifically in discussions of players being out of shape and b.) apparently doesn't look like he's out of shape . It'll be interesting to see how this plays out and if he gets off on a bad foot with Jerry Sloan. Patient fatherly figure that he is.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 9:17 am
 

Preseason Primer: Sacramento Kings

Posted by Matt Moore
 
Could we have seen it coming? Could we have known that Tyreke Evans was going to join Michael Jordan and LeBron James among the handful of players to average 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in their rookie season? That he would make such a huge difference? Well, yeah, we should have. The question is where do the Kings, whose rebuilding project they find accelertaed, go from here? That's where we begin with the lastest in our Preseason Primers .

Training camp site: Sacramento, CA
Training camp starts: September 28th

Key additions: Samuel Dalembert (trade), Antoine Wright (free agency), Luther Head (free agency), DeMarcus Cousins (draft)

Key subtractions: Spencer Hawes (trade), Jon Brockman (trade), Andres Nocioni (trade)

Likely starting lineup: Tyrke Evans (PG), Beno Udrih (SG), Donte Greene (SF), Carl Landry (PF), Samuel Dalembert (C)

Player to watch: DeMarcus Cousins. There's no getting around it. "Boogie" is the guy you want to keep an eye on. He could dominate. He could underwhelm. He could blow up on his teammates. he could fit in seamlessly. He could add weight. He could slim down. Anything is possible with Cousins, and his progression will be a huge factor in how the Kings do this season.


Chemistry quiz: Evans needs to be the leader, and this is the season where he's got to start showing that. Meanwhile, there aer a bunch of players on the Kings like Thompson and Greene who may wind up frustrated if they can't secure their positions on the team. Throw in the explosive Cousins and you have a tenuous situation that could be brilliant, could be terrible. It's wait and see.


Camp battles: All eyes on small forward, as Donte Greene and Omri Casspi battle for control of the universe... I mean, small forward spot. Greene has more experience and athleticism, but Casspi is arguably more skilled. This is going to be and intense and close fight. Sorting out the rest of the frontcourt will be tough as well with experience (Dalembert, Landry) versus upside (Thompson and Cousins) as well as slotting positions.

Injury issues:
Evans had an ankle injury in Team USA tryouts but should be fine. Other than that, the Kings enter camp healthy.

Biggest strength: Athleticism. Evans, Thompson, Greene, Cousins, Landry. They're tough, long, and athletic. That team can create mismatches on the floor sheer length and leaping ability. Strong, too. Should be a lot of fun to watch.

Glaring weakness: Inexperience. The best thing about being young is you don't know any better. That's also the worst thing. The Kings are going to struggle as they learn how to win. Learning to be consistent starts in camp.
 
 
 
 
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