The New DeMarcus Cousins Watch

a

HANG TIME WEST – Welcome to the new DeMarcus Cousins Watch, the one about whether he plays in the fourth quarter, unlike the one tracking suspensions and technicals, or the one measuring his foul troubles, or the one gauging the mood of the locker room being brought down by behavior issues of its best player.

Cousins has been benched for most of the fourth quarter each of the last two games, and the fourth quarter of close games at that time in a season (OK, a decade) when Kings’ victories are at a premium and opportunities cannot be wasted. But there he sat Tuesday against the Nuggets at Sleep Train Arena and Wednesday against the Warriors at Oracle Arena, and that takes it from one-time occurrence on bad nights to possible emerging trend.

That, in turn, makes the Suns’ visit to Sacramento tonight unexpectedly interesting, this new twist in the three-season saga of Cousins vs. his demons that has held the Kings hostage. He remains too talented to dump for nothing and too emotionally fractured to reach his All-Star potential and build around, and now he is also sitting in favor of Patrick Patterson and Chuck Hayes when the Kings twice have chances to beat opponents bound for the playoffs.

Cousins was terrible in Oakland, making two of 10 shots and managing five points and four rebounds, although also four steals, in 20 minutes against Andrew Bogut working his way back from two injuries. It’s being kind to say Cousins appeared disengaged. Off that night, he deserved the bench.

Except that it wasn’t just that night. Some 24 hours earlier, Cousins was equally AWOL on offense with one basket in 12 tries. But he had five blocks. He had 13 rebounds. And coach Keith Smart took him out with 10:15 left and the Kings down 10. When Sacramento rallied with the smaller lineup, getting within 101-97 with 5:36 remaining, Smart kept Cousins on the bench.

Against the Warriors, it was the entire fourth quarter as the Kings again played well enough to threaten a better team, this time leading by a point in the final minute before losing 87-83.

“I think he’s engaged,” Smart said. “But I think he’s in a slump right now. It’s the last two games, a couple games, he’s not getting what he wants. But that’s what happens. You’ve got to learn how to grow out of these. You’ve got to learn how to play out of them. You’ve got to figure out, ‘Is it how I’m on the floor playing,’ or ‘Get back into my working game and work on some of the things, get back in the film room.’ Do all those things. I look at the games that we’re playing here on out. He’s still got to do everything he’s supposed to do as if this is game number five. You don’t change. You still come in and work on your game. This is all our players. This isn’t going to be a DeMarcus Cousins show. This is for all our guys. You keep working on your game until the final horn sounds. That’s how I approach it and I want those guys to approach it.”

Cousins conceded he is not in a good shooting rhythm and that he isn’t getting to the spots he wants for the shots. But he said he has not clocked out of the season five or six weeks ahead of schedule.

“Am I disappointed?” to not play in the fourth quarters, he said, repeating the question after the Warriors game. “Yes. But I can’t really control it.”

Are you surprised?

“You just kind of expect anything here.”

Has Smart said anything to you about why you are being benched in crunch time?

“Uh-uh.”

Do you try to talk to him?

“Not at all.”

What do you mean by expecting anything around the Kings?

“Just what I said.”

Tonight against the Suns will be a good test, on whether Cousins can’t break out of the shooting slump and, in the bigger picture, whether Smart will rely on him if it’s close in the fourth.

18 Comments

  1. The Scripted says:

    Keep Cousins. Get rid of Smart. The Kings will return to the top within this decade- The Second Coming of the Kings is near.

  2. iSHAQ or SHAQTOLOGY says:

    COUSINS is so immature…. send him to BOBCATS…

  3. dink says:

    I think the best thing for both teams to do would be Toronto and sacramento to just swap the two bigs bargnani for cousins straight up , both need a change of scenery real bad

  4. woohoo says:

    he have some serious issues , i suggest if he wants to show how strong he is he should go to ufc and give his spot to someone who came in the league to play basketball , the funny thing he always wants to fight with some unknown below average player

  5. Ya know I think Demarcus Cousins should be traded to a better organization like the spurs once Tim Duncan is out or the celtics once KG is outand maybe even the OKC thunder but I would like him on the Indiana pacers (duh)

  6. DaPiP says:

    I wonder if Cousins even know he is an employee. That an organisation is paying him to do a job. Sometimes it seems to me, he thinks that the organisation is there for him, and not the other way around. Cut him. There are plenty of guys with talent, that would fit in so much better.

  7. Chris says:

    Man… Cousins, I know unsolicited advice is cheap, but here goes. Find a team were you will NOT be “the man” and where the team really respects the coach, like Boston or San Antonio. This may be hard to swallow, but it would be GOOD FOR YOU to not get your way for a while. Take a pay cut if you have to, do whatever it takes.

  8. Arky says:

    Everyone said before this season started that this roster, despite having lots of individual talent, just looked like a train wreck when you actually put all the pieces together. And so it has proven to be. If ever a roster needed a veteran point guard to run the offence and get everyone their shots in their spots so they don’t feel the need go forcing it whenever they get their hands on the ball, it’s this team (I rate Isiah Thomas, but he’s the wrong point guard for this team). Cousins needed someone on the team at least as talented as him who he could respect and learn from. I can’t help but feel that Cousins will eventually end up on another team and he’ll blossom there.

  9. yoyosuites says:

    I really hope this organization can grow with big Cuz. He reminds me of Zach Randolph. If he learns to shoot like ZBO look out. .

    What it will take to make Cousins feel inspired is winning. How will the Kings win basketball games? Plan to win basketball games. I’m so sick of seeing our offensive minded players on the bench at the beginning of the 4th, Kings should be trying to get teams into the penalty. Apparently that’s not the plan for ol’ coach smart. He plays JImmer and Chuck Hayes, the tweedle dee and tweedle dumb of offensive and defensive efficiency .

    Keith Smarts rotation is INSANE. He never does the obvious thing. These are the people who should play: Cousins Thompson, Patterson, Salmons, Evans, Thorton, Thomas, Douglas. These are the people who should not play: Jimmer, Hayes, Johnson, Outlaw.
    Demarcus is the man… What will it take to get him to act like one.

  10. Bob M says:

    Coach Smart is saying all the right things, but DMC is a young stud and needs confidence. I want to know who is coaching the big men in Sacto, he has the potential to be an All-NBA player. I think that team is tired of working with him and lost confidence in him. Phil Jackson would wring every ounce of potential out of him.
    DMC says he isn’t getting to his spots. Why isn’t he being taught how to get to his spots? He is a very young player that doesn’t have a high basketball IQ. And, it appears, he doesn’t know what to do to become a top pro.
    He should be traded for next to nothing; he will lose all confidence and mental edge very soon. His stock is decreasing.

  11. joe says:

    another Derrick Coleman…so much potential…but all for not

  12. kuh says:

    He’s not a bad boy, just a stupid kid.

  13. Alex says:

    He needs to be suspended again. He always has a good few games stretch after every suspension ahahah

  14. gaurav says:

    fire coach smart

  15. iSHAQ or SHAQTOLOGY says:

    COUSINS send him to PISTONS, he belongs there… he is a Bad Boy.

  16. Cousins fan says:

    As a fan of DeMarcus, He needs to wise up..

  17. couldn't care less says:

    interesting ???