Tonight the Utah Jazz (18-11) will host the Sacramento Kings (11-17). One player who is going to be kind of under the microscope will be Kings bigman DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins is having a classic Boogie season. Big numbers on the court, big headaches off the court. Last night he dropped 55 points on the Portland Trail Blazers in a huge home win. This season the two time All-NBA player and two time All-Star is averaging near career highs across the board: 29.3 ppg, 10.8 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.1 spg, and 1.5 bpg. His capabilities to do basketball things aren’t in question. And they are often challenged — and will be tonight by potential Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert. It’s just that for all of Cousins’ qualities, one of them doesn’t seem to be the ability to lead a team to wins. (Last night notwithstanding.)
In the rivalry that exists between the two small market teams, the Jazz and Kings, we’ve seen Cousins suit up and play 20 times. And in that period we find him putting up big numbers and getting losses. In fact, even more impressive to me is that he gets his numbers in wins and losses. Almost . . . you know . . . like Cousins has very little to do with affecting the outcome of games.
So against everyone from Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter to Rudy Gobert we’re seeing DeMarcus get his against Utah. And we’ve seen a lot of Jazz wins too. Of course, 12-8 isn’t dominant. But then again, our team is perpetually injured. Oh well.
DeMarcus is on his way to another All-Star game and possibly another All-NBA team with his numbers. But I don’t know if he’s an impact guy right now for a winning program. You can call me a hater, and that’s fine. But until his team starts getting better at some point he’s gotta take some of the on-court responsibility for it.