Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cousins is a big man with a lot of game

After watching the Sacramento Kings first-round draft choice DeMarcus Cousins during his first two summer-league games, it's likely coach Paul Westphal will have a difficult time keeping the rookie on the bench.

Yes, it's mid-July, but with the No. 5 pick overall, the Kings lucked into a 6-foot-11, 280-pound skilled basketball player.

Moreover, Cousins enjoys playing the game and utilizing his skills.

His enjoyment of playing is not to be overlooked.

Not all big men, particularly, have the love of the game. Some big men play the game just because they've been told they should. Cousins has a skill diversity that suggests he played on the perimeter and/or wing before a growth spurt turned him into a post player.

He can handle the ball comfortably, although many times he'd be better off finding a guard and running the floor. He sees the floor well facing the basket and with his back to the basket.

Cousins has quick feet and and strong hands. He looks to attack offensive on the perimeter and in the post. Even when the opposition improves during the regular season, he'll quickly require a double-team in the post because of his array of moves.

Like all rookies, especially those with just one college season, Cousins will have to slow down and allow his moves to take effect.

However, Cousins has a feel for the game that suggest he'll play better as he plays with improved talent. Certainly, he'll need to use his feet as well defensively as he does offensively.

He likes to reach and rely on his hand quickness. That will keep him in foul trouble, especially as a rookie.

However, the kid has a soft shooting touch and an offensive repertoire that with intensive work and experience, could make him a tremendous force.

Memo to Samuel Dalembert: Get your work in this summer and bring your lunch to training camp.

Cousins appears capable of legitimately challenging for the starting center position.

Quick hits

Hasaan Whiteside is a major work early in progress, but has length, agility and athleticism, qualities that can't be taught. He can impact games with his shot-blocking ability and pursuit of the ball. Unlike Cousins, Whiteside does not have good hands.

Ryan Thompson likely will be brought to veteran's camp because he has size, activity and shooting ability.

Donte Greene, 22, is showing signs of settling down and learning how to best utilize his considerable skills and talents.

Sylvan Landesburg will have to show he can make perimeter shots to have a chance of making the team. His current strength is taking the ball to the basket. The Kings need shooters.

Donald Sloan is not a natural point guard, but has the size, desire and physical skills to defend. He needs to show he can control a team.

Tyreese Rice is a point guard, who needs to dribble less and look to make plays for teammates as often he looks to score.

Devan Downey can impact a game as a tempo changer with his speed and ballhandling. He, too, must show he can make perimeter shots.

Omri Casspi must recapture the fire with which he played the first half of last season. Casspi has played selfishly in the first two games and looked to score far more than make plays. He must find a happy medium.

Wayne Chism is a talented big man, who could be trying to make the wrong team. Clearly, he's skilled enough to play on this level, but incredibly, the Kings have become a team with big-man depth.

Dionte Christmas is a solid scorer and must show he can be a consistent perimeter shooter. Christmas is a decent defender and plays hard. He needs to have at least one big game during this competition to separate himself.


  1. Accurate assesment as always Mr. Mac. I miss you on the King's beat. The Bee is a BUST. *Even if he would rarely play, I'm still sorry to see Brockman go away.

  2. Marty Mac? Great to see your still in the game. Gotta agree with you on Cousins. The only way Cousins will be off the floor is because he will take himself out via fouls or jawjacking. His stamina is not good and when he tires he starts to fade to the outside, jawjacks and fouls/makes bad shots. Incredible physical skills and smart, just needs patience and to grow up some.