After missing over six weeks of action, DeMarcus Cousins is ready to go for the NBA Finals.
Head coach Steve Kerr announced that the Warriors big man will be active for Game 1 between the Warriors and Raptors.
DeMarcus Cousins will be active for Game 1. No word on if he’ll start.— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) May 30, 2019
Cousins sustained a torn left quadriceps in Game 2 of the Warriors' opening-round NBA playoff series against the Clippers on April 15 and has not played since.
"It's been a tough week leading up [to The Finals] because I've been working my tail off to get to this point," the Warriors center told ESPN's Marc Spears. "I am healthy enough to play, it's just a matter of when."
It looks like that will be Thursday night in Toronto.
Kerr admitted on Wednesday that the franchise initially thought Cousins' injury would be season-ending.
“If this were the regular season, I would throw him out there and he would play whatever minutes he could tolerate and we would build him up from there,” Kerr told reporters at NBA Finals Media Day on Wednesday. “This is not the regular season. This is The Finals.
"So we have to figure out what's the best way to utilize him, how many minutes can he play, what the game feels like, what the matchups are like. Some of that will be determined by what's happening in the game, and the other stuff is just internal with our staff.”
Boogie walking in for his first Finals media day pic.twitter.com/Kv9tkEyjIx— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) May 29, 2019
That fateful April 15 game against the Clippers was just the second playoff game of his nine-year career after Cousins missed out on a trip to the postseason with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2018 thanks to a ruptured Achilles' tendon that cost him 43 regular-season and playoff games.
Golden State could use him against the Toronto Raptors. His offensive skill set is largely unparalleled on the Warriors' center depth chart, and he could take some of the pressure off Steph Curry and Klay Thompson in the absence of Kevin Durant.
Of course, Cousins has not played in a month-and-a-half, and it's fair to wonder how effective he will be. If the big man can rediscover his end-of-season form, though, the Warriors will get a big boost in the frontcourt.