It’s been a little more than two weeks since DeMarcus Cousins‘ latest brush with disciplinary action. Since his third suspension of the season, Cousins and the Sacramento Kings have played some of their best basketball this year, posting a respectable 5-3 record. A few observations.
DMC is playing to his potential
The Cousins that we’ve seen in the last six games is the Cousins we all know he can be. Dare we say that the 22-year-old big man has been Chris Webber-like following an indefinite suspension that lasted just two days? Across the board, his numbers have increased. Check his stats per game:
- 16.6 points
- 9.5 rebounds
- 2.1 assists
- 1.3 steals
- 2.7 turnovers
- 41.4 percent FG%
- 76.9 percent FT%
- 30.3 minutes
- 20.8 points
- 13.5 rebounds
- 5.0 assists
- 1.8 steals
- 1.8 turnovers
- 48 percent FG%
- 80.6 percent FT%
- 33.2 minutes
It’s worth noting that Cousins’ better assist numbers have coincided with the Kings’ improved ball movement. Before Cousins’ suspension, the Kings were averaging just 18.5 assists per game. In the eight games that have followed, Sacramento has averaged 24.6 assists per contest.
John Salmons has been the Kings’ second best player
With Marcus Thornton going down with a sprained ankle and Tyreke Evans nursing a bum left knee, someone needed step up from the swing position. That someone has been Salmons, who’s upped his production in practically every major category. In eight games, the Kings starting small forward has averaged 14.4 points, 4.1 assists, three rebounds, just 1.3 turnovers and a steal in 31.3 minutes per contest. What’s more impressive is that 33-year-old swingman has shot 51.2 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point land.
Aaron Brooks has been the most efficient out of the Kings’ three-headed monster at point guard
If you had to guess, you’d probably assume that Jimmer Fredette has been the team’s most effective weapon at the one. But after crunching the numbers, you find out that’s not so. Instead it’s Brooks, not Fredette nor Isaiah Thomas, that’s been the most effective guard, offensively speaking. The veteran out of Oregon has averaged 9.6 points on 53.1 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from long distance. He’s also led the team in true-shooting percentage at 63.8 percent in the last eight games.
In comparison to Brooks, Fredette has struggled as of late. Jimmer is shooting just 37.5 percent from the field while posting 41.7 percent from 3-point territory in 18.1 minutes per game. Meanwhile, Isaiah Thomas has been solid all around. His offensive numbers aren’t gaudy (13 points and 4.3 assists on 47.9 percent shooting from the field in 27 minutes per game), but his value goes beyond scoring. The Kings’ diminutive young guard has posted the best individual defensive rating over the last eight games, allowing just 97.9 points per 100 possessions.
Statistical support provided by NBA.com.