Could DeMarcus Cousins return to NBA’s Western Conference Finals?
The Warriors big man tore his left quad at the beginning of Game 2 of the Warriors-Clippers first-round playoff series on April 15.
Cousins initially was expected to miss the remainder of the playoffs.
The New York Times’ Marc Stein tweeted recently that league sources say that DeMarcus Cousins — if he maintains his recent progress from a torn quad — is on course to make a return to the Warriors’ active roster during the Western Conference Finals.
While there still isn’t a firm timetable, Kerr said Cousins has made a “normal progression,” and the big man has recently started participating in light shooting drills. Via the Mercury News:
Warriors coach Steve Kerr shared some encouraging news on the likelihood centers DeMarcus Cousins and Damian Jones could return at some point during the NBA playoffs.
“It’s a possibility he could be back. Same with DeMarcus,” Kerr said on Sunday. “He’s coming along pretty well. We’ll just wait and see.”
The Warriors have not officially ruled him out just in case Cousins’ rehab on a Grade 2 tear progresses faster than expected. According to outside medical experts, that healing process takes about six weeks. That would coincide with the beginning of the NBA Finals presuming the Warriors advance there for the fifth consecutive year.
“He’s progressing with his rehab,” Kerr said recently.
“But nothing significant enough to report. He’s doing a little bit better.”
While it’s good to see Cousins progressing, it remains highly unlikely that he’ll return this season. At most, the Warriors have about seven weeks left in their season, and Cousins will likely not be ready to go by then.
But it remains a possibility, at least.
Cousins’ injury is disappointing.
A four-time NBA All Star, Cousins returned to the Warriors’ line up after a serious Achilles’ injury dating back to last season.
He was their secret weapon deep in the NBA Playoffs.
“Cousins is a big x-factor on that team,” NBA Insider, Chris Sheridan told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“I’m really looking forward to see how Boogie is going to play, because with the Warriors he’s not going to get as many possessions as he did in Sacramento.”
The Warriors have to remain focused on winning a championship this year and then a focus later on next year after the season. These are veterans players and they know what it takes to win in the playoffs.”
Cousins was beyond ready. “It’s a team full of high IQs,” Cousins told me in September.
“I believe everyone on our team has a very high IQ when it comes to the game of basketball. All of us know how to play the game of basketball.”
“We got guys with the same characteristics that– it’s like play-doh,” he told me.
“You can mold them into whatever you want them to be.”
Cousins had never appeared in the NBA Playoffs until this season.
Cousins sat with the team on the bench during the Warriors’ win over Houston of Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals on Sunday. Kerr has said he has left it up to Cousins on whether he wants to sit with the team during its playoff games.
Cousins rejoined the Warriors after they returned to the Bay Area following Game 4 of their first-round series against the Clippers in Los Angeles.