From Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:
Mention some of DeMarcus Cousins’ less-than-flattering statistics from last season and you won’t hear any excuses for them.Cousins doesn’t blame his teammates’ inability to catch passes for averaging 3.3 turnovers, ninth-most in the NBA. Nor is there complaining about officiating as a reason Cousins led the NBA with an average of 4.1 fouls per game.Then there’s the 43-percent shooting from the field, especially bad for a 6-foot-11 center. Cousins begins his second season tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers with plans to improve all those numbers…
Cousins showed that he has all-star talent last season, but his penchant for settling for outside jumpers and throwing errant passes was his downfall. According to 82games.com, 61% of Cousins’ shots were jumpers last season, and he only made 33% of those jumpers. Cousins is also one of the most gifted post passers in the league, but he tried to force passes that weren’t there last season, which was a big part of the reason he turned the ball over so much.
Every rookie goes through growing pains in the NBA, especially rookies that come into the league after only one year of college, and those growing pains generally manifest themselves in bad shots and turnovers. Cousins, like every 2nd-year player, will have to make adjustments to be effective at the NBA level — Cousins’ adjustments will just have to be a lot more drastic than most players’. Fortunately for Kings fans, Cousins as much pure size and talent as any young big man in the league, so he has the ability to right the ship and become an effective NBA player. In the article, Cousins said that he will “have to play a lot smarter” this season; tonight, he’ll get his first chance to back those words up with on-court decisions.