One of the fun things about the beginning of the NBA season is taking stock of the various new wrinkles that players have added to their games. Sometimes this means marveling at Kevin Durant’s new one-legged turnaround jumper, and sometimes it means being delighted by Boogie Cousins launching threes like his name’s Rasheed Wallace.
In the five games he’s played this year, Cousins has shot 19 three-pointers. This is a noticeable uptick, given that he shot 69 combined threes over the previous five seasons. He is currently on pace to shoot more three-pointers than Dirk Nowitzki did last year. Wrap your mind around that! Big-ass, bruising DeMarcus Cousins suddenly transforming himself into a stretch four.
And the best part is, it’s kind of working. Cousins went 4-of-5 from deep opening night against the Clippers, went a combined 0-for-9 in his next three games, but bounced back last night by hitting another four out of five from behind the arc.
These are all easy shots for Cousins to get during the course of the game, too. The Kings aren’t sticking him in the corner and running complicated sets to get him a free shot; Cousins is just picking a few possessions a game to trail the play, stop at the three-point line, and then fire away after receiving a scoop pass from Rajon Rondo. When the shots are falling, this is one of the easiest ways for a big man to steal a few extra points here and there.
The funny thing is that this idea came from Cousins’s apparently arch-enemy, Kings head coach George Karl (via Sacramento Bee):
Cousins will not be shunning the post this season. But coach George Karl has said he will move Cousins all over the court. That includes allowing Cousins to shoot threes.
Maybe this will all go up in smoke after Karl’s inevitable firing, or maybe Cousins will have a passive-aggressive fit that will be expressed by him exclusively shooting threes or refusing to shoot them at all. Anything’s possible, really, but for now it’s just fun to watch a young, great player expand his game.