Rebounding woes among DeMarcus Cousins’ recent struggles
It’s been a tough week for DeMarcus Cousins. The Sacramento Kings starting center has struggled to leave an imprint on the court in his last four outings.
He’s averaged just 10.5 points, five rebounds and shot just 38.1 percent from the field. Before his previous four games, he was finally hitting his stride. In the Kings’ 13 other January contests, Cousins averaged 21.4 points and 12.8 rebounds while shooting 49.5 percent from the field.
Even when he’s shooting poorly, one thing Cousins can always count on is his rebounding. The 22-year-old center is one of the league’s best offensive rebounders – due in part to his physical gifts and size, but also to his low-field goal percentage. A number of boards Cousins has grabbed throughout his career have come from shots he’s missed himself.
But in this four-game stretch, that unfortunately hasn’t been the case. He’s pulling down just 1.5 offensive rebounds per contest – two boards lower than his 3.3 career average.
With Cousins’ decreased presence on the glass, the Kings’ rebounding has suffered over the last week. They’ve been out-rebounded by each of their opponents a combined 182-152 in their last four games. When opponents dominate the boards, the Kings are a meager 7-24 this season. By comparison, they’re 10-6 when they win the rebounding battle.
So if Cousins isn’t grabbing rebounds for the Kings right now, who is?
At 10.3 percent, Cousins is tied for fourth with Tyreke Evans among teammates in rebounding percentage over the last four games. Chuck Hayes, who’s seen his playing time increase in recent outings, leads the pack at 17.6 percent followed by Thomas Robinson at 13.5 percent and Jason Thompson at 11.8 percent.
It’s probably been a challenge for Cousins to get into any kind of rhythm considering the sporadic nature of the Kings’ rotation. (He’s sat out two full quarters in the first three contests of this six-game road trip.) Regardless, for the Kings big man to get himself and his team back on track, addressing his rebounding woes is probably the place to start.