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SportWarriors' DeMarcus Cousins could determine outcome of NBA Finals — for better or worse

03:50  12 june  2019
03:50  12 june  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

Steve Kerr opens up on the Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins dilemma

Steve Kerr opens up on the Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins dilemma Should the Warriors rely on DeMarcus Cousins in the NBA Finals if he's healthy?

The Warriors need everything DeMarcus Cousins brings for the rest of the 2019 NBA Finals . Even if it's a volatile mix of attitude, minutes, buckets, rebounds With Kevin Durant out , Golden State needs Cousins to be the complementary piece to a core that has delivered three NBA championships in the

The Warriors know what to expect from Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, but they need DeMarcus Cousins to be an X-factor in The Warriors need everything DeMarcus Cousins brings for the rest of the 2019 NBA Finals . Even if it's a volatile mix of attitude, minutes, buckets

Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins could determine outcome of NBA Finals — for better or worse© Provided by Perform Media Channels Limited

The Warriors need everything DeMarcus Cousins brings for the rest of the 2019 NBA Finals.

Even if it's a volatile mix of attitude, minutes, buckets, rebounds, fouls and controversial plays, the Warriors will take what they can get here. With Kevin Durant out, Golden State needs Cousins to be the complementary piece to a core that has delivered three NBA championships in the last four seasons.

MORE: Warriors players call out Raptors fans for "bulls—" behavior

Cousins quickly made headlines after Golden State's Game 5 victory for his comments about the smattering of fans who cheered when Durant went down with an Achilles injury. Cousins had a pointed response.

NBA Finals: Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins available for Game 1

NBA Finals: Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins available for Game 1 NBA Finals: Warriors big man DeMarcus Cousins available for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters that Cousins, who suffered a torn quad muscle in the first round of the playoffs, will play Thursday night against the Toronto Raptors. Cousins returned to the practice floor last Thursday in an effort to return the floor. At that time, the team said that Cousins would be available “at some point” during the Finals. Cousins hasn’t played since April 16, when he injured his left quad in Game 2 of the Warriors’ opening round series against the Los Angeles Clippers.

With DeMarcus Cousins one step closer to a return, Golden State could be getting A lot better than I was," Cousins said Thursday afternoon. "I'm able to get up and down the court more. Minutes before Cousins spoke to the media for the first time in more than a month, the Warriors announced

Golden State coach Steve Kerr said DeMarcus Cousins has been practicing, but he TORONTO — Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins is close to returning from a torn quadriceps. "Some of that will be determined by what's happening in the game, and the other stuff is just internal with our staff."

"F— them."

Cousins doubled down and labeled the fans "trash."

"We're only idolized as superstar athletes, not human beings," he said. "It's always about what we can do between those lines."

Most people stop reading after the F-bomb, but the back half of Cousins’ comments have more value. His attitude has been dissected throughout his career. If anybody could come close to the criticism Durant faces — and it's still not close — then that player would be Cousins.

Maybe that's why Cousins responded the way he did between the lines in the aftermath of Durant's injury. Cousins checked in with just under 10 minutes remaining in the second quarter after Durant was helped off the floor. He scored seven straight points with a pair of layups and a 3-pointer and grabbed two rebounds. That burst allowed Golden State to build a 46-35 lead it held until the 5:13 mark of the fourth quarter.

DeMarcus Cousins was 'ready to quit' after tearing quad

DeMarcus Cousins was 'ready to quit' after tearing quad Golden State Warriors forward DeMarcus Cousins is back in action and looking strong in the NBA Finals, but he very nearly threw in the towel after tearing his quad in the first round of the playoffs. Opening up to Rachel Nichols of ESPN, Cousins said he was “just ready to quit. Like, throw the towel in” after that devastating injury. “I was just ready to quit. Like, throw the towel in"@BoogieCousins sits down to talk about how devastated he was after tearing his quad in the first round of the playoffs, but then dug in and fought back to become a crucial piece for the Warriors in these NBA Finals. pic.twitter.

With DeMarcus Cousins active for Game 1, the Warriors now face a crucial decision concerning Cousins was the starting center until he went down with a torn left quadriceps muscle on April 15 in “This is The Finals , so we have to figure out what's the best way to utilize him, how many minutes

2019 NBA Finals : Raptors vs. Warriors 2019 NBA Finals . DeMarcus Cousins , who has been sidelined since April 15 with a torn quariceps muscle, is on course to return to the Warriors during the Western Conference finals , according to Marc Stein of the New York Times.

Video by FOX Sports

Cousins' contribution to the game was crucial considering he's missed most of the playoffs with a quad injury. He played for nearly 20 minutes and finished with 14 points (6-of-8 shooting) and six rebounds. In Golden State's two wins, he has averaged 12.5 points and 8.0 rebounds. In the three losses, he is down at 4.3 points and 2.3 rebounds.

Cousins is a 20-10 player for his career, but it's unrealistic to expect that kind of production now. If he can be close to a double-double guy and play a little more than 20 minutes per game, then the Warriors will have a chance to be the second team to come back from a 3-1 deficit.

With Cousins, you never know. He was involved in three key plays in the final two minutes. Cousins was called for offensive goaltending on a Stephen Curry miss with 1:59 that could have gone either way. He also triggered a defensive goaltending call on Kyle Lowry (it was) and got caught on an illegal screen (it was) that set up Toronto for a potential game-winning shot.

Report: Kevon Looney could return during NBA Finals

Report: Kevon Looney could return during NBA Finals The Warriors could use his defense along the front line.

DeMarcus Cousins bio, stats, and video highlights. Mark Medina of The Mercury News explains when Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins could suit up again for the Warriors . Hauled in 12 rebounds and tied a career- best with 27 points (9-17 FG, 9-10 FT) at South Carolina (1/26/10)

2019 NBA Finals : Raptors vs. Warriors 2019 NBA Finals . Cousins had just returned in January from a nearly yearlong absence following surgery for a torn left Achilles tendon suffered while with the Pelicans His spirit is probably low right now, but he's a tough guy and he'll be back better than ever."

Chances are Golden State will need Cousins on the floor in these same critical situations in Game 6.

That's the chance they will have to take, and it circles back to those comments.

"F— them."

Cousins is talking about Toronto fans, but it might as well be everybody who wants the Warriors' reign at the top of the NBA to end. For those who thought this series was over when Durant went down, Golden State had something to say about that. Cousins had even more to say afterward.

This is exactly the kind of against-the-world attitude Golden State needs to have for the rest of the series without Durant and perhaps Kevon Looney, who exited Game 5 with a chest injury. Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala are not used to trailing in a series, but they typically respond well when facing playoff deficits.

NBA Finals 2019: 3 takeaways from Warriors' thrilling Game 5 win over Raptors

NBA Finals 2019: 3 takeaways from Warriors' thrilling Game 5 win over Raptors Although Kevin Durant and Kevon Looney re-aggravated injuries in the contest and left the game, the Warriors held on. The Warriors will head back to Oracle Arena for Game 6 in hopes of forcing a Game 7. Here are three takeaways from Golden State's season-saving victory: The Warriors were hot from deep Golden State made five straight 3-pointers early in the first quarter, and its efficient shooting carried it throughout the game. The Warriors finished with 20 made 3-pointers compared to Toronto's eight. Despite this large margin, the Raptors kept things close, so a cold night could tip the scales moving forward.

DeMarcus Cousins vs. Marc Gasol -- two former All-Stars facing off, both in search of their first championship ring. Four games into the 2019 NBA “These are the cards I was dealt, so just make the best of the situation, that's all you really can do,” Cousins said during his media availability on Sunday.

Latest on Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins including news, stats, videos, highlights and more on ESPN. News: 4 hours agoCousins (quad) will be active for Thursday's Game 1 of the Finals against the Raptors, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.

The "Splash Brothers" will splash, and Green and Iggy know their roles on both sides of the ball. They need Cousins to be the X-factor in Game 6 on Thursday.

With one more victory, Golden State could put the pressure back on a Toronto franchise that missed the first of three chances to close the door.

Who would you take in a Game 7? The home team or the defending champions?

If Cousins is that missing piece in Game 6, then we already know our answer.

Related slideshow: 2019 NBA Finals (Provided by imagn)

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