How did this guy fall to No. 5 again?
One Summer League game is a meaninglessly small sample size. But it was big enough to make you realize this — DeMarcus Cousins could be a beast in the NBA. He is a big man in a world of big men, but he has touch and feel.
Cousins finished with 14 points and 10 boards, showed great footwork, was strong on the block, worked hard on defense most of the time, had good moves and even a face-up game not seen at Kentucky this year.
“I was very nervous in the beginning, I really didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know how I would manage through the game,” Cousins said. “But it came pretty easy.”
He didn’t look nervous, he looked like a guy having fun. Talking trash to Edgar Sosa. Getting out and running. Making the right play — he got doubled on the block early and he make the right pass out of the double to the shooter multiple times. He’s a gifted passer, and the fact he was a big man who passed out of the block at Summer League alone made him stand out.
At a couple times, he was having too much fun.
“He forced it a couple times, he tried to dribble it up the court, but, give it to your point guard DeMarcus and get your big butt down on the box,” said Sacramento Summer League coach Mario Elie.
Cousins even tried to show off his mid-range game for Elie. And he’s not the outside shooter Elie was (who is?) but he hit shots doing it. Cousins’ jumper release is a little low and the follow through needs to be better (or exist) but if he’s close now he could be good enough to really make you respect him outside the paint.
“I’ve had (and outside shot), but coach Cal didn’t need me to do that at UK, now I just go do what I do,” Cousins said.
It was easy to picture the Sacramento offense next season: Tyreke Evans coming off the high Cousins pick. It’s going to be brutal to stop. Evans can get into the lane with anyone, but show out hard to take that away and Cousins is rolling hard (or popping out off a flat screen).
Sacramento is going to be a lot of fun this year.