What a season it was for DeMarcus Cousins. And really, what a week it had been. He was selected as an All-Star starter, then posted a historic 44-point, 23-rebound, 10-assist, four-steal performance against the Bulls.
Then, towards the end of a win over the second-seeded Houston Rockets, Cousins reportedly tore his left Achilles on this play.
He will miss the rest of the season.
Cousins was averaging a career-high in rebounds (12.9), assists (5.2) and three-point makes (2.2).
This is just the second time Cousins will have played less then 60 games in his eight seasons.
Nearly a year after acquiring Cousins before the trade deadline, New Orleans sits as the sixth seed in the West at 27–21. With the frontcourt pairing of Cousins and Anthony Davis — who could’ve become the first frontcourt duo to ever both average 25 points and 10 rebounds — the Pelicans were almost a lock to make the playoffs. That would’ve become the first time Cousins has ever made the playoffs.
New Orleans still has a shot at making the playoffs, though they currently hold just a three-game lead over the ninth-seeded LA Clippers.
The Pelicans have a flawed roster, but the All-Star pairing of Cousins and Davis made them incredible intriguing. They contained the size to give almost any team a problem down low, while also having the versatility to initiate offense and shoot from deep. That’s not a duo you want to have to worry about in the postseason.
Another interesting wrinkle in this story is Cousins’ free agency. There has been a debate since last summer on whether New Orleans would move Cousins at this year’s trade deadline to hedge against him possibly leaving them for nothing. That possibility is clearly off the table now, whether they planned on moving him or not.
What would have made New Orleans a lot more attractive to Cousins in free agency is a playoff appearance, proving that he and Davis could make noise together. Maybe Cousins believes that already, but there will still be no playoff appearance to show for it — for Cousins, at least.
Now Davis is back to old times, carrying a roster of Jrue Holiday and a bunch of wannabe wings. Sigh.
New Orleans now has to fight that much harder every night and piece together enough wins to secure a playoff spot. And Cousins, who will be sidelined for six-to-10 months, will have to become a cheerleader.