David Thorpe follows the rookies of the NBA closer than anybody. He’s updated his Rookie Rankings and DeMarcus Cousins is shooting up the charts:
This is the point, however, in the overall story. Cousins can still be a mess from game to game. He may have the worst body language in the NBA, overreacting to everything, including his own mistakes. And he does not yet value winning enough to take fewer jumpers and dribbles. Yet he’s performing much better than he was, and with more consistency. He’s also getting in good enough shape to make more defensive plays above the rim. This is the kind of talent the Kings (and everyone else) were expecting.
As he succeeds more often, he will be tested anew. We’ve seen how he dealt with failure in November — with marked improvement. How will he deal with his success this month?
With most fans, they don’t really pay attention to what guys like Cousins are doing. They rely on national columnists to tell them what’s going on. So instead of just getting the “Cousins made a choke sign” or “Cousins has a bad attitude because he fought with the coach” type of stuff, they’re reading about how he’s progressing.
It’s nice to see Thorpe giving him credit here for adapting, playing better and showing he’s more than a tabloid waiting to happen.