DeMarcus Cousins getting attacked by Warriors opponents on defense

DeMarcus Cousins getting attacked by Warriors opponents on defense

Editor's note: Grant Liffmann is the co-host of Warriors Outsiders, which airs on NBC Sports Bay Area 90 minutes before each home game and 60 minutes after every game. Each week, Grant will drop his Outsider Observation on the state of the Dubs.

DeMarcus Cousins is not the sole reason the Warriors are struggling on defense

It goes without saying that Boogie has had his fair share of issues on defense so far. He is struggling to stay in front of guards and wings when switched onto them, and has sagged too far into the paint on many occasions, allowing the opposing team to get wide-open threes. Teams are consistently attacking Cousins whenever he is on the floor, trying to expose his rust and lack of conditioning. 

The Warriors starting lineup of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Cousins has posted a very porous 116.5 defensive rating so far in 152 minutes together on the court. Compare that to the starting lineup prior to Boogie's return, when Kevon Looney was the center, and the unit maintained a good 106.2 rating. So it is clear that the starting unit has struggled to adjust to Boogie's presence in the lineup.

However, that is not true for ALL lineups that include Cousins.

The lineup that typically starts the second and fourth quarters has actually been very effective on defense so far. Shaun Livingston, Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Green and Cousins have posted an exceptional 89.4 defensive rating in 54 minutes together on the court thus far. Sure, the opposing offenses they are facing during those minutes are usually not quite as potent as the starting units.

But the Warriors have taken advantage of those minutes, and Cousins is a large part of that

In seasons past, that unit -- anchored by David West -- was a strong defensive unit that struggled mightily on offense. Yet while that strong defense has been maintained this season, they also have been effective on offense, posting a solid 112.9 offensive rating, and creating a phenomenal 23.1 net rating. 

There is a clear common denominator for all the Warriors best defensive units, however. When Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala share the court together, the defense improves dramatically.

If you take the defensive rating of the second unit and couple that with the Hampton's 5 impressive 97.6 defensive rating, the numbers tell the obvious story. Thompson, Green and Iguodala are each great defenders individually, but when put together, create a smothering defensive net.

They each can switch onto practically any of the opposing offensive players and hold their own, no matter their size or quickness. Because of this, they are able to mask and cover for the current defensive issues that Cousins presents.

[RELATED: Bogut looking forward to teaming up with Boogie for once]

The Warriors as a whole have not played high-level defensive this entire season. Can they turn it on like they normally do for playoffs?

Until they actually fail in that regard, I'm not sure why you would assume otherwise.

DA won't charge Raptors exec Masai Ujiri for alleged NBA Finals altercation


DA won't charge Raptors exec Masai Ujiri for alleged NBA Finals altercation

Toronto Raptors president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri will not face criminal charges over an alleged altercation with an Alameda County sheriff's deputy during the NBA Finals, the County District Attorney's office told NBC Bay Area in a statement Tuesday. 

The sheriff's office alleged that Ujiri struck and pushed a sheriff's deputy as he tried to gain access to the Oracle Arena floor following Game 6 of the NBA Finals at Oracle Arena on June 13. The district attorney's office received incident reports from the Alameda County Sheriff and Oakland Police Department in late July, conducting "additional investigation and witness interviews" until Sept. 1, a spokesperson from the district attorney's office said in a statement.

Ujiri, his attorneys and Assistant District Attorney Terry Wiley met Monday, focusing "on matters that we believe merited constructive, structured mediation and conflict resolution and were better handled in a setting outside of the courtroom." 

In June, the sheriff's office admitted Ujiri showed his NBA identification before trying to get on the Oracle Arena floor following the Raptors' win but told The Globe and Mail in June that Ujiri didn't have necessary credentials to get on the court. The sheriff's office shared still images with The Globe that showed there was an altercation, though they did not allow the paper to publish the images. Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern told KPIX-TV in June that he would recommend Ujiri face a charge of misdemeanor battery of an officer. 

In Tuesday's statement, a district attorney's office spokesperson said "[there] will be no further action taken" against Ujiri. 

Kevin Durant's starting lineup of teammates doesn't have Steph Curry

Kevin Durant's starting lineup of teammates doesn't have Steph Curry

We are not trying to create any drama.

We are simply reporting the facts.

Former Warriors forward Kevin Durant was recently a guest on the "Knuckleheads" podcast with Quentin Richardson and Darius Miles, and was asked the following question:

"Out of all the teammates you've played with -- if you can pick four to create a starting lineup with, who are the other four players? Out of all your teammates and your current roster right now with Brooklyn."

After a solid five-second pause, the Nets' superstar said Kyrie Irving and James Harden would be the backcourt.

After a 10-second pause, KD said Draymond Green would be his power forward. And he eventually landed on Serge Ibaka at center.

"We can switch everything on D and we are all-world scorers and facilitators," the two-time NBA Finals MVP explained. "And we can block shots. That's a perfect team."



What about that Steph Curry guy?

It's understandable why Durant included Kyrie. That's his current point guard and one of his best friends.

[RELATEDWho's better: Steph or Russ? KD makes his choice clear]

But he could have gone with Curry over Harden.

At least he included Draymond, right?

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