It was announced today that the Warriors finally have a target debut date for sidelined NOLA transplant DeMarcus Cousins, and it’s soon. The former Pelicans center and All-Star is set to hit the court with the Warriors for the first time on January 18th, after tearing his achilles tendon a year ago.
His moving to the Bay Area to join the already-stacked and successful Golden State team was a controversial move that had many accusing him of ruining the league. Indeed, when Boogie takes the floor with his new team for the first time, all five starters will be All-Stars. His addition will make this Warriors team, already reigning champs and one of the most successful teams in NBA history, even scarier.
Cousins’s return may be hard for former Pelicans teammate (and MVP hopeful) Anthony Davis to watch. He recently commented that last year’s Pelicans team “coulda won it all” with Boogie healthy and in the lineup.
The Pelicans didn’t have a stellar record when Cousins was sidelined last year; they were 27-21 at the time of the injury and lost all their matchups against the Warriors with or without Boogie. The tandem of Cousins and Davis was no laughing matter, though, and the team post-boogie performed well in the playoffs, falling only to the Warriors themselves in the Western Conference Semis.
“Just imagine if we had DeMarcus through the whole thing last year,” Davis told The Athletic’s Joe Vardon. “We think we coulda won it all.”
The Pelicans are Unlikely to Make the Playoffs This Year
It’s got to sting watching Boogie prepare to play with the team that’s already favored to win another championship, whether he plays or not, especially when the Pelicans are currently hovering at the 12th spot in the Western Conference.
On top of losing Boogie in the offseason, they also lost veteran point guard Rajon Rondo to the new-look Lakers, leaving Anthony Davis to carry the team with much less supporting firepower. They’re 19-22 at the moment and are unlikely to make the playoffs if things keep going the way they have been.
The Pelicans will face the Warriors on January 16th, two days before Cousins’s expected return. It’s a shame that AD and Boogie won’t be able to meet on the court once again–but either way, the outcome of this game is all but decided. Barring some unforeseen upset, the 27-14 Warriors are on their way to The Finals, and the Pelicans will end their season early.