DeMarcus Cousins is ready to wage war against the NBA’s small-ball era alongside Anthony Davis.
Ahead of the New Orleans Pelicans’ season-opener, which they lost, Cousins said he believed his team’s dual-big model could spur a movement of its own, per The Times-Picayune‘s William Guillory:
I was always a guy that tried to do things a different way,” said Cousins. “I think we can surprise a lot of people. I think we can set a new trend in the league; it’s exciting. It kind of takes us back to the old style of basketball that a lot of us are accustomed to.
“Of course, it’s going to come off as a weird thing with the whole ‘small-ball’ era, but I think we have a chance to make some noise with it.”
Cousins isn’t out of his mind. His partnership with Davis can work. The Pelicans defended at a league-best rate with them on the floor last year, according to NBA.com, and they started to figure things out on offense toward the end of the season.
New Orleans’ issue isn’t them, separately or together. Not even close. The major concern: Everyone else.
Take the Pelicans’ opening-night loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Cousins and Davis combined for 61 points. The rest of the team scored 30. The Grizzlies were also a plus-12 in the paint and a plus-10 in transition, which might be a direct result of New Orleans running out two bigs. So, yeah, maybe this doesn’t. But it could And if it doesn’t, it’ll more likely than not have to do with the Pelicans’ barebones supporting cast.
No matter what happens, though, don’t bank on New Orleans starting some league-wide trend—not unless this duo somehow ultimately dethrones the Golden State Warriors.