The Warriors push the pace. They keep moving offensively, both the ball and themselves. They frequently switch defensively.
DeMarcus Cousins doesn’t always hustle up court. He often holds the ball as he surveys the floor. He’s not very comfortable defending on the perimeter. And that was even before he tore his Achilles.
So, something must give… and it won’t be Golden State.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, via Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:
We’re not going to change our style of play. We’ll definitely add a few plays for DeMarcus (Cousins) down on the block. But for the most part, we’re not going to change who we are.
I doubt that surprises Cousins, and I doubt it bothers him. He picked the Warriors in free agency, after all. I figure he knew their expectations. Their style is established and demonstrably effective.
But that doesn’t mean he’ll smoothly fit in. Wanting to play one way is one thing. Breaking years of habits is another.
On the other hand, I also wouldn’t be surprised if, despite’s Kerr’s statement, Golden State slows down just a little as its roster age. Cousins’ impending adjustment might not be as stark as it’d appear based on the Warriors’ previous play.
At best, Cousins will pick up good habits that help him thrive in the modern NBA and make him coveted in 2019 free agency. Along the way, he helps Golden State win big.
At worst… the Warriors will be so talented, they’ll probably still succeed, anyway. A perfect mesh between teammates would be great, but talent helps overcome fit flaws.