Another Injury For DeMarcus Cousins, Could This Spell Trouble For Warriors?

Lloyd Dotson
Former Pelicans Big Man, DeMarcus Cousins. Photo Credit: Keith Allison - Under Creative Commons License
Former Pelicans Big Man, DeMarcus Cousins. Photo Credit: Keith Allison – Under Creative Commons License

In January 2018, we saw the horrible sight of then Pelicans All-Star big man DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins lying on the court after rupturing his left Achilles tendon near the end of a game against the Houston Rockets. Not that there is ever a good time for an injury to happen, but the timing of this particular injury couldn’t have been worse. Cousins was playing brilliantly and about to enter free agency, definitely looking to cash in, by signing a large free agent deal. Unfortunately, as a result of his injury, Cousins found the market for his services significantly dried up.

Cousins signed a one-year “prove-it” deal with the reigning champion Golden State Warriors.  The addition of Cousins to an already loaded juggernaut hardly seemed fair. Once healthy and able to get back on the court, inserting Boogie into the starting lineup would give the Warriors an unbelievable five All-Stars, not to mention two former MVP’s (Steph Curry and Kevin Durant).

Boogie joined the Warriors, all the while rehabbing so he could show the world that he was back and able to perform at an elite level. The Warriors preached patience, looking at the long-term benefits rather than any immediate/short-term gain. Cousins rehabbed his Achilles, biding his time until he was able to get back on the court, helping the Warriors to be even more potent with his addition. Finally, both his and the team’s patience would be rewarded as he made his season debut on January 28, 2019, ironically, against first-round playoff opponent, the Los Angeles Clippers. He would score 14 points before fouling out. Cousins appeared in a total of 30 games for Golden State in the regular season, posting averages of 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game.

The first round of the playoffs would find the Western Conference top seed Golden State Warriors up against the eighth seed Los Angeles Clippers. The 2018-19 playoffs would be Boogie’s first ever playoff action. During his time in Sacramento, the Kings never qualified for the playoffs (missing out on the postseason again this year), and he missed participating in the playoffs with New Orleans after suffering the Achilles injury. Needless to say, Cousins was definitely looking forward to the opportunity to play on the postseason stage, with a strong possibility of earning a ring, as Golden State aims for a fourth championship in the past five years.

While All-Star/former two-time MVP Steph Curry led the Warriors with 38 points in a 121-104 victory over the Clippers in game one, Boogie produced a solid stat line in his playoff debut. Cousins scored 9 points while pulling down 9 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. More than his numbers, his presence was definitely welcomed. Despite boasting a lineup featuring Curry, former MVP/two-time Finals MVP Kevin Durant, All-Stars Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, in addition to a bench led by former Finals MVP Andre Iguodala, Cousins would definitely have moments, and possibly games, in which his value would shine through.

What a cruel twist of fate. In the first quarter of game two, while chasing down a loose ball, Cousins fell to the floor on a non-contact play. He briefly grabbed his thigh, immediately tried to get back up to continue, but realized he would be unable to do so. After being ruled out and missing the remainder of what turned out to be a Warriors loss, Cousins was diagnosed with a left quad tear, ending his postseason, and, depending on the severity, a significant portion of next season as well.  After working so hard to return from the Achilles injury, he now faces rehab from this setback. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Boogie for a speedy and full recovery.