DeMarcus Cousins practiced Thursday, but the Kings offered little clarity on the illness that sidelined him from playing in Wednesday’s win over the New Orleans Hornets.
“They just said food poisoning,” said head coach Keith Smart when asked what Cousins ate that caused him to become sick. “I don’t hang out with them, (know) what they eat. So whatever he had, I don’t want to put anybody on the spot. So, he had food poisoning and that’s where it’s at.”
Cowbell Kingdom requested Cousins for comment, but the Kings’ center was not made available to media following practice.
Smart suggested the big man suffered from a mild case of dehydration, but was unclear of how long Cousins was ill.
“He’s of course going to be a little dehydrated with everything, what he went through the last couple days,” said Smart. ”But he got on the floor, ran today a little bit. (He) was not totally himself based on what had taken place for him, but he’s okay today.”
Teammate Jimmer Fredette thought Cousins performed well in Thursday’s practice. However, the Kings’ rookie point guard did notice Cousins was less energetic than usual.
“He’s still trying to get his legs back and get his stomach okay and get his stomach right,” said Fredette, who, like Smart, knew little of what made Cousins sick. “But he did some things out there and I think he’ll be good to go for tomorrow.”
According to Smart, Cousins is expected to be play in Friday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks.
Jimmer on Kings’ two offensive identities
When Smart took over as head coach, he believed the Kings suffered from an “identity crisis”. Halfway through the season, the Kings have created two personalities on offense.
One for their starters and another for their bench.
The Kings’ first unit seems to thrive best either running the floor with starting point guard Isaiah Thomas pushing the pace or feeding the ball to Cousins. The reserves, however, flourish in the Kings’ motion offense, with Chuck Hayes and John Salmons serving as primary facilitators.
Fredette, who’s averaged roughly 18 minutes per game over Sacramento’s last five contests, doesn’t think it’s detrimental that the Kings feature two distinct styles of play.
“A lot of teams have it that way,” said the Kings’ rookie point guard. “Where one unit is one way and then the second unit comes in and maybe plays more up-tempo or more slow down, bigger – depends on the team.
“Sometimes it’s a good change of pace for the opposing team that you’re playing against, keeps them off balance, (they’re) not exactly sure what you’re gonna get out of either teams,” he added.
Fredette played heavy minutes with both units in Wednesday’s win over the Hornets while scoring 11 points and matching a career-high five assists. He says it hasn’t been difficult getting into an offensive rhythm with either squad.
“You just go out there and play,” Fredette said. “We practice with each other every day and we see how each other play. So we’ve played with each other enough, at this point, where I think we’re pretty comfortable both ways.”