Programming note: Watch the pregame edition of Warriors Outsiders on Thursday at 6:00pm P.T., streaming live on the MyTeams app.
DeMarcus Cousins is a four-time All-Star. DeMarcus Cousins has been named Second-Team All-NBA twice. DeMarcus Cousins is one of the most unique talents in the NBA.
But coming off an Achilles tear, it was anybody's guess as to how he would look after missing nearly an entire year.
Well, unless your name is DeMarcus Cousins.
“I put a lot of work in, so, no, I don’t think (my early success is) a surprise,” Cousins told Anthony Slater of The Athletic after the Warriors' win in Indiana. “As far as integrating with the team, I spoke on it earlier, it’s a team full of high IQs. You put a team full of high IQs together, it’s kind of easy to get on the same page and play the right way.
"It’s a good feel, a good situation. Not to say it’s perfect, but it’s working out smoother and easier, I guess you could say, than a lot of people expected.”
Consider me one of those people. I didn't think it would take too long for Cousins to find his rhythm offensively, but I did believe he would struggle somewhat on the defensive end.
While he hasn't been perfect on that end of the floor, he has absolutely exceeded expectations:
Cousins was upset he didn’t get the call, he wanted to complain, but he sprinted back on defense and played solid defense against Cory Joseph pic.twitter.com/eXKA4tfirF— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) January 29, 2019
And two nights prior in Boston, he racked up three steals and a block, and more than held his own in ball screen and/or iso situations against Kyrie Irving.
As for the offense, it seems like we are taking for granted the fact that he racked up 22 points vs the Pacers on an extremely efficient 7-for-12 from the field. He made one of his two 3-point attempts, went 7-for-9 from the free throw line and dished out four assists.
"He got a lot of work done inside tonight ... some of that was game plan. We wanted to run a couple sets to try to get him the ball in there to get him used to that. Some of it was just him feeling more comfortable with his conditioning and his game," Steve Kerr told reporters. "DeMarcus is really coming along, doing well."
It's scary to think about where he will be two weeks, one month, two months from now...
Drew Shiller is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders. Follow him on Twitter @DrewShiller