Draymond Green is known for being bold and wildly outspoken, but he’s able to appreciate greatness when the situation calls for it.
Following the Golden State Warriors‘ 117-106 win over the Sacramento Kings on Sunday night, Green raved about DeMarcus Cousins‘ ability and declared him the best center in the NBA, according to ESPN’s Ethan Sherwood Strauss.
“I think DeMarcus is the best center in the game. I think a lot of times people don’t give him that credit. And a part of it is they try to downplay his status because of his reputation or getting technical fouls or things like that. He is the best big man in the game hands down.”
Although the Warriors pulled out the dub and held Cousins to a sub-par performance, it’s one of the few times this season a team has been able to keep Boogie from torching them. He finished with 17 points on 4-of-11 shooting and hauled in 10 rebounds, but also played just 29 minutes in the loss.
For comparison, Zaza Pachulia, who has the second-most All-Star votes among frontcourt players, had 10 points and seven boards.
Cousins is putting together an MVP-caliber season despite the Kings being one of the most dysfunctional franchises in sports. He’s fourth in points a game with 28.1 while hauling in nearly 10 rebounds a night and dishing out a career-best 3.9 assists. Furthermore, he’s one of four guys attempting more than 20 shots a night (21.1), and he’s nailing about 45 percent of them — a very respectable clip for such a high volume.
What makes him such a handful to guard is the perfect marriage between finesse and bully ball, and Cousins is one of the NBA’s most versatile bigs.
Through 36 games, 172 of his 758 attempts have come from three. He’s buried 64 of them, giving him a 37.2 percent clip, which is fourth-best among centers who have at least 100 attempts from downtown, per Basketball Reference.
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Cousins can play on the block, too. And there hasn’t been a center like him playing in the low post in quite a while. He’s nowhere near as dominant as Shaquille O’Neal, but opposing bigs have a hard time checking him because he’s just as agile as he is strong, and he’s very adept at drawing contact.
Thus far, DMC has taken 344 free throw attempts. That number puts him at fourth in the league, and it’s an average of 9.6 a night. Now that he’s drawing more fouls, he significantly improved his free throw shooting, and his 78.2 percent clip is on pace to tie his career-best that was set two seasons ago.
Green’s comments come from real recognizing real, and he’s no stranger to leaving his mark on games. Some can argue that he’s the Warriors’ most valuable player because of everything he’s capable of doing.
Not all of his minutes are at center, but he plays that spot enough for it to be his secondary position. Even as the five, Green facilitates while banging around with bigger bodies for boards. He’s on pace to finish with 7.6 assists and 8.5 rebounds a night this year, which would bring his two-year average to 9.2 boards and 7.4 dimes.
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