Friday, March 3, 2017

DeMarcus Cousins Does Not Fit in Uptempo Offense

The New Orleans Pelicans might have gotten a steal in the DeMarcus Cousins transaction with the Sacramento Kings; however, they now have the wrong pieces to run an uptempo offense that coach Alvin Gentry is familiar with during his stints with the Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors.  The Pelicans lost most of their three-point shooters, a key ingredient for the modern NBA.  The top 4 teams in the league have a plethora of 3-point shooters.  Last year, the average amount of 3-point attempts per team was about 30 per game.  During the early 1990s, teams only averaged about 10 from downtown.  The fact that players are more proficient from behind the arc than ever before and the less physical nature of the game has sped up the game and encouraged 3-point shooting.  The Pelicans will need more outside shooters to open up the inside for Cousins and Anthony Davis.
An uptempo offense requires a lot of running up and down the court.  Cousins won't do that consistently.  The Kings have run one of the fastest offenses in the league during the last two seasons, but Cousins has shown lack of interest to hustle back on defense, particularly when he feels he deserves a call but did not receive one.  That's going to be a huge problem.
Cousins hearkens back to old school greats like Shaq and Wilt Chamberlain, an unstoppable big man.  He's also a great passer and can shoot 3s.  However, defense and hustle are huge liabilities.  Maybe a full training camp session with the Pelicans will fans know whether or not Cousins is a good fit with the team.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Georges St. Pierre is Underserving of Middleweight Title Shot

It has been recently announced that Georges St. Pierre (GSP)'s first UFC fight after about a two-year layoff will be against Michael Bisping for the middleweight title.  GSP will step over more deserving fighters like Yoel Romero and Ronaldo Souza because the UFC lately runs like the WWE: mainstream popularity matters.  Even though earlier Dana White says the UFC will have to promote GSP all over again because of the fighter's long layoff.  Romero and Souza are not getting the title shot because they are not household names.  It's similar to how John Cena, the Undertaker, and Randy Orton are always vying for the WWE belt when there are other wrestlers just as deserving but not as popular or well known. 
The UFC matchmaking used to be better when mixed martial arts was not as mainstream as it is today.  Now, if fighters know how to talk, they'll have a better chance of earning bigger fights. Everyone has to be good on the microphone like Conor McGregor.  McGregor got the lightweight title fight against Eddie Alvarez last year over someone like Tony Ferguson, who was on a 9-fight winning streak.  Nine wins in a row and still no title shot?  There's a good chance Khabib Nurmagomedov would have been the #1 lightweight contender against McGregor if McGregor didn't decide to take first half of 2017 off.  That's because Khabib threatened to quit the UFC, yet he has not been as active as Ferguson.
Pierre getting the next middleweight title shot is even more perplexing when he has 0 fights in that weight class.  He was afraid to challenge then champion Anderson Silva when there was all this talk of a super fight between the welterweight and middleweight champions.  Majority of fighters want a crack at the middleweight title because they all believe Bisping is an easy matchup.  But regardless of their lack of respect for him, there are more deserving fighters than one who has never fought at that weight class and has been inactive for two years.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.