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.

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