One of the scariest things about the Golden State Warriors is that they’re about to get even better. DeMarcus Cousins has been the terrifying elephant in the room as the Warriors reach expectations without him yet in their ranks–with him, they’ll be a whole other monster. It’s well known in the league, and especially in the competitive Western Conference, that the Warriors will be all but unbeatable once he’s fully recovered from the achilles tendon injury he suffered nearly a year ago. And he’s getting there.
Cousins has been practicing with the Warriors in increasing intensity lately, and his debut with the Western Conference juggernaut is on the horizon. A video surfaced today of he and Warriors forward Kevin Durant playing some low-intensity one-on-one after the team’s practice.
The video is messy, and neither player looks great, but Cousins seems like he’s feeling alright as he plays some solid defense on the second-best player in the league. Both players miss their shots and appear to be messing with each other pretty much the whole time, but this tandem is definitely going to be something to keep an eye on as Boogie approaches his return.
Cousins’ One-Year Contract Comes After an All-Star Season with the Pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans are now anchored by All-Star forward and MVP candidate Anthony Davis, but last year’s Pelicans squad included Cousins and now-Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo. With Boogie out after tearing his Achilles in January of 2018, the 2017-2018 Pels fell to the Warriors in the second round of the playoffs last season. The Pels were able to pull out a single win in the series.
Cousins’ defection to the Warriors was controversial a la Kevin Durant, as both players have been criticized for bandwagoning with the team in order to get a championship under their belts. Once Boogie is good and healthy, the Warriors will have a starting lineup comprised entirely of All-Star players, which presents even more of a challenge for a league that has struggled to defeat them for years now.
When Will Boogie Return to Play?
Cousins currently has no set date to return to the floor, but these recent practice videos make it seem likely to be before the playoffs. The Warriors will want to play it safe–they certainly don’t need him right now, the team is soon to be at their expected No. 1 spot in the West (which is occupied by the Denver Nuggets for now)–but they won’t hold Cousins back once he’s ready to play.
“I know there’s a narrative that we’ll save DeMarcus for the playoffs. That’s inaccurate,” Warriors GM Bob Myers explained to ESPN. “When he can play, he’ll play. We won’t rush him, but we also won’t hold him back. We need time for him to acclimate; we need to acclimate for him. But it’s an exciting thing for our whole team to look forward to.”