Sat | Nov 28, 2020

Cousins willing to play any Warriors role

Published:Tuesday | June 4, 2019 | 12:17 AM
Golden State Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins (bottom left) drives against Toronto Raptors’ Marc Gasol (right) and  Danny Green (top left) during Game 2 of the NBA Finals, in Toronto, Canada on Sunday.
Golden State Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins (bottom left) drives against Toronto Raptors’ Marc Gasol (right) and Danny Green (top left) during Game 2 of the NBA Finals, in Toronto, Canada on Sunday.

TORONTO (AP):

DeMarcus Cousins said he’s good with any workload the Golden State Warriors task him with for the remainder of the NBA Finals. Start, don’t start. Play a few minutes, play big minutes.

“Whatever’s needed,” Cousins said.

It’s looking like plenty will be needed.

The Warriors are banged up, and the centre who has spent most of the last 18 months in that predicament is coming back at the absolutely perfect time for the two-time defending champions. He’s gone from question mark to game changer, a stat-stuffer for the Warriors , who, it seems, now finally know who their starting centre is the rest of the way.

Cousins played 28 minutes in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, scoring 11 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, handing out six assists and blocking two shots. With him on the floor, the Warriors outscored the Raptors by 12 points. With him on the bench, the Raptors outscored the Warriors by seven.

Game changer

Put simply, he changed the game. He also might have changed the series, which resumes in Oakland tomorrow night for Game 3.

“On our defensive end, making his presence felt blocking shots, being in the right place at the right time, it’s a big lift for us,” Warriors guard Stephen Curry said. “I know he’s been waiting a long time to be on this stage.

“Obviously, with his injuries, he’s taken the challenge of inserting himself and making that transition smooth. So it’s been fun to watch. More to come.”

The fact that he’s even on the floor is a surprise to the Warriors.

It remains unclear how much they really believed their own words when they told Cousins that he had a chance of coming back this season from his torn quadriceps muscle, suffered in the opening minutes of Game 2 of the first-round matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers.

All that matters now is that Cousins believed them.