On Wednesday, Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr informed the media that center DeMarcus Cousins is "unlikely" to be available for the remainder of this postseason.
Coach Kerr elaborated a bit, saying, "he [Cousins] will not need surgery" and, speaking of the projected recovery time, added, "you're probably looking at a couple of months' recovery time." All of this makes it pretty clear that DeMarcus' first run in the playoffs, and with the Warriors, has come to an untimely end.
Cousins, signed this past offseason to a one-year/$5.3 million contract, had battled back from the season-ending Achilles injury he suffered last season while with the New Orleans Pelicans. He made his Warriors debut back on January 18, ironically, against the Clippers, with whom the Dubs are currently engaged in a postseason battle. Coach Kerr made sure to bring the big fella along slowly, inserting him immediately into the starting unit but limiting his minutes early on. As Cousins' stamina and strength continued to build, his minutes steadily rose, as well.
What was never in question was whether Boogie Cousins could still ball. Many wondered what type of stats he would be able to carve out while sharing the floor with an established juggernaut consisting of four perennial All-Stars, two of whom being former-NBA MVPs. DeMarcus answered those questions and his critics with hard work, hustle, and results. Statistically, Cousins posted very healthy numbers for a guy who just returned from a devastating Achilles injury, just joined a new team, and was set to see his role significantly reduced from that which he was accustomed:
2018-'19: (30 games) 16.3 pts, 8.2 reb, 3.6 ast, 1.3 stl, 1.5 blk, 48% fg, 73.6% ft, 25.7 min/game
Going forward, losing Cousins will have a noticeable effect on the Warriors throughout the remainder of the playoffs. As the starting center, he anchored the defense at the rim and was able to switch out and guard multiple positions. On the offensive end, Boogie is one of the league's best weapons. Scoring, passing, screening, and setting up his teammates for success was Cousins' game with the Dubs, and he had adapted to it with excellence. Not to mention, his toughness, tenacity, and rebounding ability.
Yes, he will leave a large hole, prompting coach Kerr to make a couple of changes. Kevon Looney will most likely be inserted into the starting lineup in place of Cousins, as he was following Damion Jones' injury, preceding the debut of DeMarcus. This will be an adjustment, though, it won't be a huge issue, as Looney played the same role for Golden State throughout last year's postseason and eventual championship run. Durant may even be asked to play bigger opponents, at times, when neither Looney nor Draymond Green are on the floor.
Cousins will be missed, but won't be forgotten, as he'll likely be a fixture on the Warrior sideline for the rest of the playoffs. The only question surrounding him now is: Where will he play next season?