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DeMarcus Cousins plans to return during playoffs

Golden State Warriors v Phoenix Suns

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 08: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the Golden State Warriors reacts after scoring against the Phoenix Suns during the second half of the NBA game at Talking Stick Resort Arena on February 08, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Warriors defeated the Suns 117-107. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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What the Warriors are doing right now is why DeMarcus Cousins came to Golden State in the first place, why he went through all that rehab on a torn Achilles. He wanted to be part of a playoff team poised to make a deep run, to win, to get a ring to add to his resume (and if that helped him get some free agent offers this summer, all the better).

Instead, he’s been watching from the bench.

Cousins went down with a torn quadriceps muscle in Game 2 of the first round against the Clippers. He has been out doing rehab, and the early timelines had him likely missing the rest of the postseason.

Cousins is having none of that. He plans to get back on the court sooner rather than later, he told Marc Spears of The Undefeated at ESPN.

“For me, my goal is I ain’t planning on sitting,” Cousins told The Undefeated... “I don’t know the reality of it. But for me, that is not what I’m planning on doing...It’s definitely some type of bad movie. But I think it will have a very nice ending. Just wait for it...

“I was confident from the beginning once they told me the severity of it,” Cousins said. “Talking to the doctors helped me understand the injury a little more. I started analyzing things and playing it out in my head. I’m going to take it day by day and work my ass off like I always do.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr recently said Cousins could return these playoffs.

It’s highly unlikely that would be in the second round against the Rockets. However, this series feels like one the Warriors will win — Golden State is up 2-1 heading into Game 4 Monday night in Houston — and that will mean at least another round (likely two) for Cousins to get back and get on the court.

Golden State doesn’t really need Cousins against the Rockets anyway, his struggles defending the pick-and-roll in space this season (before his latest injury) would have made him a target of James Harden and Houston’s mismatch-hunting isolation offense. Cousins would have been giving up time for more Hamptons five and smaller lineups in this series anyway.

However, a big body inside could be instrumental against Denver’s Nikola Jokic or Portland’s Enes Kanter in the next round (assuming the Warriors go through). In the Finals there are undoubtedly good matchups for Cousins at the five, depending on which team comes out of the East.

The Warriors want to get Cousins back on the court. Probably not as bad as Cousins himself wants to get back on the court. We’ll see if he can make it all the way back.