Boogie Cousins racks up impressive double double
DeMarcus Cousins was an absolute beast on Wednesday night as he poured in 40 points and cleaned the glass for 22 rebounds. Boogie was too big and too strong for the smaller Denver Nuggets and they just couldn’t contain Cousins’ physicality as he punished them nearly every time he touched the ball.
The bruising big man put in work in the post, but contributed to the Pelicans 123-113 victory in almost every way imaginable. Aside from tallying his second 40-20 game of the season, Boogie also dished out four assists and protected the paint with four resounding rejections.
New Orleans has been forced to play the last three games without their All-Star power forward Anthony Davis as he continues to recover from an aggravating groin injury. Fortunately for the Pelicans, when Cousins in cooking, he’s virtually impossible to stop.
Since the loss of Davis, many players have had to step up to fill the enormous role left vacant by the superstar big. He’s become something of an afterthought it recent years, but one player who’s made a world of difference for New Orleans is former All-Star Jrue Holiday.
Although he’s played point guard for the first eight years of his career, the floor general has seamlessly slid over to the shooting guard position in order to accommodate the addition of Rajon Rondo to the starting five. It’s much to early to say his transition has been a success, but in the three games that Davis has missed, Holiday has averaged an eye-popping 26 points and six assists per game.
The crafty point guard has struggled to stay on the floor in the past few seasons, but this year he looks as healthy and mobile as his early years in Philadelphia. Should he stay healthy and productive in his new position, it may be time for fans, players, and coaches alike to consider whether he’s worthy of another All-Star nomination.
Of course their roster will need to avoid further serious injuries, but the Pelicans may have found their perfect starting five. Once Davis returns, we’ll get a better idea of just how good this combination of players can be.
It wouldn’t hurt them to add more shooters around their All-Star front court duo, but their roster is shaping up into a legitimate playoff contender. If they can make a few wily moves before the trade deadline, New Orleans just might have the depth and talent to make a deep playoff run.
I like their core players and they’re a piece or two away from being in the elite teams discussion. Nothing is set in stone, but keep your eye on the Pelicans, they might just surprise us all.