Posts Tagged ‘DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins’

Cousins to replace injured Bryant on West’s All-Star roster

cousins

DeMarcus Cousins is averaging career highs in both points (23.8) and rebounds (12.3). (NBAE via Getty Images)

HANG TIME BIG CITY — The Western Conference All-Stars just got a boost of Boogie.

With Kobe Bryant out for the rest of the season following shoulder surgery, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced Friday that Bryant will be replaced on the Western Conference All-Star team roster by Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins. The announcement comes just hours after the All-Star reserves were announced, a list that did not include Cousins.

In his fifth NBA season, Cousins is averaging 23.8 points along with 12.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks, career highs across the board. Over the last 20 years, only five players — David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan and Kevin Love — have averaged at least 23 points and 12 rebounds in a season. Cousins is the first Kings’ All-Star since 2004. He also played a key role on last summer’s USA Basketball championship team at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, and seems to have curbed his enthusiasm for picking up technical fouls, with just five so far this season after racking up 16 last season.

The 64th NBA All-Star Game will tip off Sunday, Feb. 15, at Madison Square Garden. The game will be seen by fans in 215 countries and territories and will be heard in 47 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for the 13th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports’ 30th year of NBA All-Star coverage.

Morning Shootaround — August 24


VIDEO: Kevin Love’s top plays with the Timberwolves

NEWS OF THE MORNING
Cavaliers trade for Kevin Love | Wolves get Young | Team USA’s new look

No. 1: Cavaliers trade for Kevin Love — After months of talk and rumors, the suggestions have become reality as the Minnesota Timberwolves have traded Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a package including this year’s No. 1 draft pick, Andrew Wiggins, and last year’s No. 1 pick, Anthony Bennett. While LeBron James may have chosen to return to Cleveland in part because of their combination of young players and draft picks, giving the team a bright future, this trade allows James to team with Love and Kyrie Irving, giving Cleveland its own dynamic version of a big three. More important, as our Fran Blinebury writes, adding Love almost certainly accelerates the timeline for contending in Cleveland.

But the simple truth is that arrival of Love to Cleveland gives the Cavs with James and Kyrie Irving the best young All-Star threesome in the NBA.

James himself had cautioned everyone not rush to judgment and expect too much too soon. He said it would be a long road for the Cavaliers to reach a champion’s level and that was speaking from the experience in Miami.

That was also speaking from as the lone playoff-tested veteran on a team where the rookie Wiggins would have had to learn about the league and about himself. But all of a sudden, James and the Cavs have a shortcut.

Love, 26 in a couple of weeks, is a completely different animal, a top 10 level talent, who can produce double-doubles every night and has 3-point shooting range. Love is someone who changed his body and has changed his game to become one of the most consistent number producers in the league, the kind of front-line anchor right now that the Cavs could only have hoped they’d get from last year’s No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, who was included in the deal with Minnesota.

No. 2: Wolves get Young — While picking up two former No. 1 picks, Minnesota continued its makeover by moving Alexey Shved and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute to Philadelphia in exchange for Thaddeus Young. With Young, Wiggins and Bennett in the fold alongside Ricky Rubio and draft pick Zach LaVine, the Timberwolves now have one of the most athletic cores in the NBA. As Wolves GM/coach Flip Saunders notes, the Wolves should be able to get up and down the floor in a hurry this season.

“It became very evident to anyone that contacted us that, in order to do something, we were going to demand something in return that was going to benefit us either now or in the future,” Saunders said.

With the three new players — as well as Zach LaVine, the No. 13 pick in this year’s draft — Saunders said the Wolves have an identity that includes the athletic, two-way players they lacked when he was hired as president last year.

With Wiggins and LaVine making plays at the rim, Saunders called it “a point guard’s delight” for Ricky Rubio, who can become more of an on-court leader with Love gone.

Before they take the court, Wiggins, Bennett and Young will be introduced at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Minnesota State Fair. LaVine, who is close with Wiggins, will join them.

No. 3: Team USA’s new look — As Team USA arrives in Europe to prepare for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo explained some of the squad’s recent roster moves to ESPN.com. While many observers assumed DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond and Mason Plumlee were battling for one roster spot, all three ended up making the final roster as Team USA went with size and strength over speed and versatility. According to Colangelo, assembling a bigger roster allows Team USA “an opportunity to throw a new look at people.”

“This gives us an opportunity to do some things we haven’t had a chance to do in the past,” Colangelo said. “It’s true that the preferred style of play [in recent years] has been going small, but you have to ask: Was that by choice or by necessity?

“Early on [this summer], we said it would be hard to carry four bigs, but that was kind of put on the shelf. Certainly there won’t be any discussion going forward about, ‘What are you going to do about bigs, what are you going to do about playing teams with size?’ If Coach wishes to show a big front line, he now has the capacity to do so.”

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SOME RANDOM HEADLINES: Before the Wolves’ moves were announced, they scooped themselves with an ad in the early edition of a local paper. … The Cavs sent a letter to fans who bought a Wiggins jersey to give them some options. … The Houston Rockets have re-signed Francisco Garcia. … According to a report, NBA veteran Hakim Warrick will work out with the San Antonio Spurs

ROY Debate Starts Now

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — The conversation lasted nearly the entire season with Brandon Jennings, Tyreke Evans and Steph Curry all spent time in the top spot before Evans snagged Rookie of the Year honors.

If you remember back to the 2009 draft, none of those guards was pegged as the early favorite for ROY honors. That honor belonged to No. 1 overall pick and Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin.

I know he’s dropped off of a lot of people’s radar since missing the entire season recovering from a cracked left kneecap suffered during the preseason, but have you heard what the Clippers are saying about him these days?

They are praising Griffin in ways that make us believe he’ll be more than just temporary factor in the ROY race this season (hold off on handing the hardware over to Washington’s John Wall just yet).

“We think Blake is a star,” Clippers VP of basketball operations Neil Olshey told my main man Eric Pincus of Hoopsworld. “I think he’s one of the great ones.  He’s got a chance based on his work ethic, his commitment and his God-given ability.  He’s going to be a great player and he’s going to be a part of our organization for a long time.”

Sure, you figure Olshey has to praise a No. 1 pick selected on his watch. But this isn’t just cover-your-own-tail rhetoric coming out of Clipperland. Olshey said the Clippers gave no thought to trying to deal Griffin for Carmelo Anthony (not that the Clippers were on Anthony’s rumored short list anyway).

Around here we put more stock in peer evaluation. And Griffin’s teammates are just as giddy about his potential as anyone in the front office. We spoke with Baron Davis earlier this summer on the Hang Time Podcast and he mentioned that he didn’t have to spend time advising a player with Griffin’s maniacal work ethic about the rigors that await.

Clippers All-Star center Chris Kaman also sees something special in Griffin, his new running mate in the frontcourt.

“They have to tell him to slow down and not work as much,” Kaman told Hoopsworld.  “If you let him go he’ll run himself into the ground.  He just loves it and eats it up.  He’s a special player with his athleticism and strength and very explosive.   I know I’m saying a lot but I’m looking for big things out him.”

As are we here at the hideout. While it remains painfully early to start the Rookie of the Year debate, we just want to make sure no one uses Griffin’s season-long absence to keep him out of the collective consciousness. Because if things play out as we think they might, he could be right there with Wall and Sacramento’s DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins in a three-man race for the top spot.

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Leaders Of The Revival

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Posted by Sekou Smith

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Surely, folks in Sacramento weren’t happy to learn that Tyreke Evans was one of the first four players trimmed from the USA Basketball roster for this summer’s world championships (O.J. Mayo, JaVale McGee and Gerald Wallace were the others).

Evans, the NBA’s reigning T-Mobile Rookie of the Year, couldn’t have been pleased either.

But there’s a silver lining in this for the hometown Kings. Because now Evans can get in the gym and develop some chemistry with the guy that must be his new best friend, DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins (he’s the big fella in the video above).

And if the Kings are intent on escaping lottery country and returning to relevancy in a packed Western Conference, they’ll have to do it on the backs on their new inside-out combo of Evans and Cousins.

If Cousins has anywhere near the season and impact that Evans had in his first year in a Kings uniform, the franchise revival being planned in Sacramento could come much sooner than expected.

Our skepticism about this team here at the hideout was fueled by the still to be determined ability of all the new pieces to fit together (Kevin Martin‘s been on the HT fantasy team since his rookie year, so we’re still not over the Kings dumping him last season). There is also clearly a lack of backcourt depth to suit our liking (and we’re guessing this means we’re kicked out of the Beno Udrih fan club).

But the rest of the supporting cast seems to be in place. We love what Omri Casspi brings to the party. He’s a ferocious competitor with the versatility and skills to work in a variety of capacities, depending on what coach Paul Whestphal decides works best. Guys like Carl Landry, Sam Dalembert, Jason Thompson and Donte Green give Westphal a multitude of frontcourt options to play with this season.

That also means “Boogie” won’t have to deliver huge numbers right away. If he just comes along at a solid rate and does his best to avoid the some of the pitfalls that can derail a rookie season, these Kings could be on the way to making some noise after the All-Star break.

The playoffs might be too ambitious … but what’s wrong with a little ambition this time of year?

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