It’s crazy talk to consider the Golden State Warriors anything but great. It’s also crazy to think they’ve never had a flaw in this run of greatness. It was a flaw most teams have in this current league, but they have solved this problem in one signing.
Warriors fans welcome DeMarcus Cousins.
Often referred to as Boogie, Cousins is easily the best center in the league. There may be some close ones, Karl-Anthony Towns, Andre Drummond, Joel Embiid, just to name a few.
They all have areas where they strive in, even some better than Boogie. Drummond is definitely a better rebounder, but Boogie scoring ability light years away. Towns and Embiid have slightly better moves in the post, but Boogie simply overpowers in the post with feather-like touch at the basket. Embiid is considerably better defensively, something that will more than likely equal out while Boogie is in The Bay.
The Warriors have always benefited from having an unselfish culture where no one man is ball dominant and they move the ball fluidly and crisp. That helps when you have special ops snipers for shooters.
There were times Steph Curry would step on the half court line and instantly became a threat to make anything he put up, contested or not. Klay Thompson might not have that extended range, but like Curry, he runs around the court with a flamethrower attached to his limbs. This was before they added Kevin Durant, a seven-foot guard with Thompson like range.
Draymond Green was the glue to it all. He makes the passes, the dirty plays, hustle plays(yes, there is a slight difference), typically their best defender –with respect to Thompson –, and he may not score 20 more than twice within a season but he is just as critical as anyone in that core.
They have all these components, not to mention a good bench, but they lacked a post threat. The Warriors have not had anyone to be that threat down low. So much so, they’ve never had a center on their championship teams average more than 10 points per game.
Cousins averaged that in his sleep. Prior to getting hurt against the Houston Rockets, tearing his Achilles, Cousins averaged 25 points and 16 rebounds. That’s playing alongside Anthony Davis, who was averaging 28 points and 11 rebounds. Scary.
With Cousins, the Warriors will be the most complete they’ve ever been. He will not only add to their post scoring abilities, but his passing abilities exceed most centers, his shooting may not be Curry like or even Dirk Nowitzki, but he can hit it, and he can also be another ball handler.
Let’s put you in the coaching seat for a moment. I’m your assistant coach and I hand you the scouting report on the Warriors. Areas of weakness may include anything from going at Curry on the defensive end, be physical with Thompson, crowd Durant, post your bigger players against Green and do your best contesting their shots. Now that same report will contain, double Cousins in the post, force Cousins to be a passer, not a scorer. Sounds good, except he’s not in Sacramento anymore passing to Curry, Seth that is. You’re not doubling off Curry, Thompson or Durant. Your best option is Green and even he is looking to make that extra pass to one of those snipers.
Not too many options here anymore.
When guarding the Warriors, you used to be well served just doubling
off Green or whoever the center is. Not anymore. There aren’t many centers in the league who can guard Cousins one on one. He’s also shown that when he has the options, as he did in New Orleans, he’s more than willing to make the best play and not force the shot.
The Warriors definitely don’t need Cousins, heck they don’t even need Durant. They’ve won a championship without both. The Warriors have a system and the one player that changes the game just by being in there: Steph Curry.
Just imagine, a pick and roll with Cousins and Curry and your guard end up in the post with Cousins while your center is on an island having a dance with Curry.
Some worry will he be the same when he returns. Some worry about his attitude. Winning changes attitudes. Environment changes attitudes. Cousins won’t negatively influence the Warriors culture if Green hasn’t with his style of play and technical foul-plagued seasons. As far as how he’ll be when he returns, well its much easier to return from injury when not much is expected of you.
In Sacramento, this would have probably been slightly worse, because once he returns he’s back to carrying the team. Not so much here in Golden State. They’ll ease him into the lineup, minute increase by minute increase. By the time playoffs arrive, they’ll be a well-oiled machine.
The Warriors have always been scary, but nothing is scarier than a completing an already great team.