Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins ready to increase playing time following All-Star break
As the Warriors prepare for their first game following the All-Star break against the visiting Sacramento Kings on Thursday night (10:30 p.m. ET — Watch on FuboTV), head coach Steve Kerr announced that Golden State’s four-time All-Star big man is ready to increase his playing time moving forward, via ESPN’s Nick Friedell.
“We’ll see how the games go. I don’t think we’ll change the plan too much in terms of how we’re going to play him in the rotations and all that, but I think once we get back into the rhythm we can absolutely play him for longer stretches, play him down the stretch if we like.”
Cousins has played in 11 games since making his season debut on Jan. 18, averaging 13.9 points and 6.8 rebounds in just 23.4 minutes per contest. During that stretch, the Warriors have gone 10-1, with their lone loss coming against the Philadelphia 76ers on Jan. 31 — a game in which Cousins converted on just 3-of-10 attempts from the field.
Kerr elaborated that this has been the plan all along — to bring Cousins along slowly and increase his workload after about a month into his return.
“I thought the last few games he just looked a little tired, which is to be expected,” Kerr said. “We were a good month into his recovery or into his return, I should say. And the first few weeks he shot the ball a lot better than he did the last few games, so I thought he maybe looked a little fatigued. So I’m hoping the break helps him out and he’s able to come back and start shooting the ball a little bit better. I’m sure he will; that’s what his track record suggests. And then for the whole team we got 25 games left, so find a rhythm for himself individually, but continue to work on his rhythm with his teammates.”
Although the Warriors struggled earlier on in the season, they’ve bounced back and have looked nearly unbeatable since Cousins’ inclusion in the starting lineup. They’ve lost just two games — also a loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in Cousins’ absence before the All-Star break — and have won 10 of their 12 games since his return.
While we’ll definitely see an uptick in Cousins’ minutes, his workload shouldn’t increase by much considering he has Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to rely upon when it relates to the scoring load in Golden State.