Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins 'most likely' won't return for NBA playoffs

Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins 'most likely' won't return for NBA playoffs

Steve Kerr said the Warriors aren't expecting injured center DeMarcus Cousins to return in the NBA playoffs. 

"He will not need surgery," the coach told reporters Wednesday in Oakland. "DeMarcus, most likely, will not be back during the playoffs.

“You're probably looking at a couple months' recovery, so it's unlikely. But [Warriors director of sports medicine and performance Rick Celebrini] told me that there are occasions where that injury heals faster. So we're leaving the door open, obviously."

Cousins tore his left quadriceps minutes into a Game 2 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday. It was just the 28-year-old's second postseason game. Should he miss the remainder of the Warriors' playoff run, it will be the second straight year in which an injury to Cousins' left leg cut his season short. 

In January 2018, Cousins ruptured his left Achilles tendon while diving for a loose ball. As a result, Cousins missed out on making his playoff debut with the New Orleans Pelicans that spring, and on a sizable payday in free agency.

Before signing a one-year Warriors deal worth the taxpayer's mid-level exception ($5.3 million) after he said he did not receive any significant offers in free agency. Cousins appeared destined for a super-max contract before the Achilles injury, and he was in the middle of what likely would have been an All-NBA season.

[RELATED: Curry's numbers could score with Cousins out, and here's why]

Cousins missed the first 45 games of the 2018-19 season as he worked his way back from the injury, and made his Warriors debut on Jan. 18, 2019, against the Clippers. He had an up-and-down 30 games in the regular season, but he averaged 17.3 points (on 51 percent shooting), 8.4 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game from March 1 onward. 

"More than anything, I'm just crushed for DeMarcus," Kerr said Wednesday. "He's been waiting his whole career for [the playoffs], and then the second game, he goes down after putting all that work in to recover from the Achilles. And he's had a great season for us — he's really come along the last month or so. I just feel bad for him."

In the meantime, Kerr said Andrew Bogut will start at center in Game 3, while Kevon Looney continues to come off the bench.

The Warriors went 31-14 in their first 45 games without Cousins, and they'll hope for similar form through the remainder of the playoffs. 

Steph Curry loves idea of Draymond Green shooting more for Warriors

Steph Curry loves idea of Draymond Green shooting more for Warriors

Draymond Green's most prolific shooting seasons came in the two years before Kevin Durant joined the Warriors.

In 2014-15, the first year of the Warriors' historic NBA Finals run, Green averaged 9.7 shots per game. The next season he averaged a career-high 10.1 shots.

Once Durant arrived in 2016, Green became the fourth option for the Warriors and peaked at 8.8 shots per game in 2017-18.

But with Durant now in Brooklyn and Klay Thompson on the mend, Green will likely get close to his career-high again, and teammate Steph Curry is all for it.

“I love it,” Curry told The Athletic's Marcus Thompson. “That’s what you want to see.”

Curry and new Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell will shoulder a bulk of the scoring until Thompson returns, but with so many young, unproven players on the roster, Green will need to score in order for Golden State to win games.

For reference, Green averaged 8.3 shots in four preseason games. We know it's a small sample size and the Warriors were working on a lot of things during the exhibition season, but it would be beneficial for the Dubs if Green becomes more aggressive when the games start counting on Thursday.

[RELATED: Greatness of Draymond dependent on 3-point shooting]

If players like Kevon Looney, Willie Cauley-Stein, Marquese Chriss, Glenn Robinson III and Jordan Poole can pick up big chunks of the scoring load, it's possible that Green doesn't need to shoot as much. But all of those players come with question marks surrounding their health or experience.

So Green should heed Curry's words and aim for 10 shots a game. The only time he reached that number, the Warriors won 73 games.

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young predicts Warriors miss playoffs, Lakers win 2020 NBA title

Nick Young has never been one to blend in with the crowd, and he's not about to change anytime soon.

Even though his NBA playing days are behind him, Young still is very much keeping tabs on the league, and -- this might shock you -- he has some noteworthy opinions. In speaking to Adam Caparell of Complex, Young offered some thoughts on the upcoming NBA season, and as you'd expect, he didn't shy away from hot takes.

One of those takes, in particular, concerned the Warriors.

When asked if he had one crazy prediction for the upcoming NBA season, Young provided a double dose.

"I will say either New Orleans making the eighth seed or Denver not making the playoffs," Young initially replied. "I don't think the Warriors going to make it this year. If they do, it's the eighth seed."

Predictions for the Warriors are all over the place, and Swaggy P is no different. ESPN projects Golden State as the third-best NBA team over the next three seasons, but some of the company's personalities have a considerably lower opinion of the Dubs.

[RELATED: Why center-by-committee is Warriors' best course of action]

Young won his one and only NBA championship as a member of the Warriors, but clearly, that's not biasing his predictions. As for who he thinks the 2019-20 NBA champion will be, however, he went with one of the other five teams he played for in his 12-year career.


I suppose they can't all be hot takes.

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