How DeMarcus Cousins ranks in the Pacific Division
Cousins is akin to a notorious vigilante who quiets the room with his mere presence. Unfortunately for the rest of the West, they’ll have to face him every year and hope to escape with only minor injuries.
Here’s how Cousins stands next to the starting centers in the Pacific Division.
*MPG = minutes per game, PPG = points per game, APG, assists per game, RPG = rebounds per game, BPG = blocks per game, TPG = turnovers per game, PER = player efficiency rating
**Statistics in italics are Pacific Division leaders.
DeMarcus Cousins – SAC
Career stats: 30.4 MPG, 17.9 PPG, 2.4 APG, 10.2 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 3.1 TPG, 20.6 PER
2013-14 stats: 32.4 MPG, 22.7 PPG, 2.9 APG, 11.7 RPG, 1.3 BPG, 3.5 TPG, 26.1 PER
Outlook: Distractions aside, Cousins is the obstacle no opponent wants to face. The 24-year-old will set up on the block and face you up or back you down with ease, thanks to a deadly combination of strength and quickness. He can stretch the floor 20 feet, swallow rebounds and set up teammates for looks as well. Cousins has wisely toned down his charge attempts in favor of block opportunities, which helped the Kings last year. He’s also smart at intercepting passing lanes, and when the big spearheads a fast break, it’s equivalent to staring down a full-speed freight train.
Andrew Bogut – GSW
Career stats: 31.4 MPG, 11.6 PPG, 2.2 APG, 9.3 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 1.9 TPG, 16.8 PER
2013-14 stats: 26.4 MPG, 7.3 PPG, 1.7 APG, 10.0 RPG, 1.8 BPG, 1.4 TPG, 17.0 PER
Outlook: The 2005 No. 1 pick is immensely skilled in his own right, but as fragile as an ice sculpture. A major elbow and ankle injury from a few years ago have sapped the athleticism from the traditional pivot, and every awkward landing is now greeted with fans’ grimaces. The Golden State Warriors’ expectation of Bogut is to score within 10 feet in a variety of ways, rebound, clog the lane and protect the rim with authority.
Jordan Hill – LAL
Career stats: 16.4 MPG, 6.7 PPG, 0.5 APG, 5.3 RPG, 0.7 BPG, 0.9 TPG, 16.5 PER
2013-14 stats: 20.8 MPG, 9.7 PPG, 0.8 APG, 7.4 RPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.0 TPG, 19.3 PER
Outlook: Hill is the far-from-round-mound-of-rebound, a chiseled specimen who bounced around the NBA earlier in his career until landing in Hollywood. The former lottery pick’s uncanny eye and instincts for grabbing careens is his most valuable asset, supplemented by his effectiveness running the floor, bruising down low and occasionally splashing a midrange stroke.
DeAndre Jordan – LAC
Career stats: 24.6 MPG, 7.4 PPG, 0.4 APG, 7.9 RPG, 1.6 BPG, 1.2 TPG, 16.1 PER
2013-14 stats: 25.0 MPG, 10.4 PPG, 0.9 APG, 13.6 RPG, 2.5 BPG, 1.5 TPG, 18.2 PER
Outlook: The backbone of the Los Angeles Clippers defense, Jordan’s shadow alone strikes fear into the core of any ill-fated slashing ball handler. The 6-foot-11, 250-pounder’s Herculean physique and leaping ability make him appear like a man among boys when he deflects layups, snatches rebounds and throws down thunderous slams. Jordan’s offense is limited to the space around the key, but apparently that’s why the team keeps Blake Griffin around.
Miles Plumlee – PHO
Career stats: 21.5 MPG, 7.0 PPG, 0.5 APG, 6.9 RPG, 1.0 BPG, 1.2 TPG, 14.4 PER
2013-14 stats: 24.6 MPG, 8.1 PPG, 0.5 APG, 7.8 RPG, 1.1 BPG, 1.4 TPG, 14.6 PER
Outlook: The ultra-physical and bouncy Plumlee beat out fifth overall pick Alex Len to admirably replace the departed Marcin Gortat last season. Mason Plumlee’s older brother gleefully boxes out, blocks shots, sets screens and hustles end-to-end despite a nonexistent role on offense. When Miles shoots the rock, it’s almost always within the paint and most definitely a high-percentage look.
Pacific Division pivots hold their own. Where do you rank Cousins?
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