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.
With so much focus in recent weeks being on NBA players speaking out on social issues, it’s worth remembering that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has been one of the most vocal athletes in America on these things for decades. The Hall of Fame and all-time leading scorer in NBA history addressed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday evening, urging voters to vote for Hillary Clinton in November, and opened his remarks by introducing himself as Michael Jordan, because “Donald Trump couldn’t tell the difference.”
You can watch the video of his speech below:
In the weeks since Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors, we have yet to hear Russell Westbrook speak on his former teammate’s decision. This week, ESPN.com’s Royce Young indicated in a podcast interview that Durant was telling Westbrook and others in the days leading up to his decision that he was coming back to Oklahoma City. He later walked back his report, saying he misspoke. On Thursday, Durant himself told The Vertical‘s Shams Charania that he never said any such thing, or misled Westbrook or anyone else about his intentions.
“It’s false,” Durant told The Vertical on Thursday. “I didn’t say that – words about me telling Russell or Nick that I would stay or leave never came out of my mouth. We met as teammates, but no promises came out of it. In this day and age, I can’t control anything people claim out there. Someone can go out and say something random right now, and people will believe it.
“I never told Russell or Nick [Collison], ‘All right, guys, I’m coming back to the Thunder’ – and then a week later, I decide not to. Never happened. I don’t operate like that. I heard people say that story, but it’s not the truth.”
So that settles that.
CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Spencer Dinwiddie.
The Bulls acquired Dinwiddie in a trade with Detroit last month and waived him three weeks ago. He spent two years with the Pistons and appeared in 12 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 13.3 minutes.
The Bulls announced the move Thursday.