OAKLAND – Though there still is some uncertainty about when DeMarcus Cousins will make his Warriors debut, there is no doubt about how he will make his first appearance.
It will be as a starter.
“I’ll start him,” coach Steve Kerr said Thursday. “After that, everything is on the table. We have to figure out what the rotations will look like, how many minutes he can play. We’ll have to play around with the minutes, the combinations and the sets.
“We haven’t had a player like him here before. So it won’t be as simple as plug him in and he’ll fit right in. We’re going to play through him some, so there will be a period where we all have to adapt. Fortunately, we’re halfway through the year. We do have a lot of games to figure this out.”
Cousins, coming off surgery for a ruptured left Achilles’ tendon, is mentally prepared to make at least one adjustment.
“It’s obvious that I won’t be taking as many shots as I have in the past,” said Cousins, who averaged roughly 17 shots per game in his first eight seasons. “It’s an adjustment for everybody. That’s pretty obvious.”
The plan is for Cousins, in the beginning, to play between 12 and 16 minutes, roughly four minutes per quarter. After the first quarter, he will spent some time playing with secondary units.
“I’ve finished one step, and that’s completing the rehab and getting back to the floor,” Cousins said. “But now there are more steps ahead, which is building the chemistry, finding myself within the team and us all finding a comfortable place playing together. So there more steps ahead.”
Cousins is not putting any expectations on himself for his Warriors debut, which is tentatively set for Jan. 18 against the Clippers in Los Angeles. He is, however, eager to get there.
“I’m not expecting to come out and score 50 points or anything like that,” he said. “It would be great if I could. But that’s not my expectation. Just coming out and being a part of the team and winning the game. That’s good enough for me.”