DeMarcus Cousins has missed games to suspension and injury this season. But for the first time this year, the 22-year-old center played in a game where didn’t start for the Sacramento Kings.
Before last night’s 117-108 defeat to the Dallas Mavericks, word spread quickly that Cousins would not be starting. In his place, Patrick Patterson stepped in at power forward while Jason Thompson slid over to center. Cousins went on to play a grand total of nine minutes, all of which came in the second quarter.
“I wasn’t expecting anything,” said Cousins on whether he thought he would play in the second half. “If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it didn’t.”
Why was Cousins benched? The official word from Keith Smart was due to coach’s decision. Smart also suggested to reporters after the game that Cousins’ limited playing time was because of reasons pertaining to match-ups presented by the Mavs.
“They were using more of a spread four, not having a big on the floor,” said Smart, who in the fourth quarter opted to play James Johnson for the first time in a month. ”And I thought we had to do some switching situations on the floor. And so I kind of I went with what I had out there on the floor.”
Cousins learned of his benching earlier in the day during shootaround, which he said he came to on time. The third-year big himself had no explanation for why he didn’t start and played less than 10 minutes in yesterday’s game.
“Y’all are asking the wrong person,” Cousins said with a chuckle and a grin when asked if he was benched for disciplinary reasons. “I just play.”
Watch the video below for Cousins and Smart’s comments on the Kings center’s benching.