DeMarcus Cousins ‘not at all’ upset by late benching in Pelicans’ win over Hornets

AP Photo/Bob Leverone
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DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis have not yet meshed on the court, and that was painfully obvious in the Pelicans’ game against the Hornets on Saturday. Here’s how New Orleans fared by which of its star bigs were on the court:

  • Both: -5
  • Just Cousins: -5
  • Just Davis: +13

The Pelicans rallied for a 125-122 overtime win by sitting Cousins for the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter and all of overtime.

Cousins:

Was it frustrating? Not at all. The team was in a good rhythm. They were playing a good stretch of basketball. So, I wasn’t mad at all. Pulled out a good win. I’m not mad at all.

This is probably too little, too late for the Pelicans, who are 5.5 games and four teams out of playoff position. The priority should be developing chemistry between Cousins and Davis for next season.

But that needn’t be the only concern. Winning now and establishing optimism also matters, and Saturday, with Davis thriving (46 points and 21 rebounds), was the perfect opportunity to lean toward the present.

Credit Cousins for buying in. His attitude is under the microscope, and this is a good example of how he’ll react to playing for a winner. Getting benched would likely be so easily tolerated only with a victory.

The key, though, is winning more next season and avoiding the stressors that had Cousins and the Kings aggravating each other.