The successful acquisition of DeMarcus Cousins in the recent free agency gave the Golden State Warriors an easier path to winning their third consecutive NBA championship title. However, inserting Cousins to the starting lineup without affecting their on-court chemistry doesn’t seem to be an easy task for Warriors Head Coach Steve Kerr. Though they are still the No. 1 team in the Western Conference, the Warriors have lost five of their last eight games
After suffering a 33-point loss from the hands of the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night, DeMarcus Cousins became the receiving end of criticisms because of his poor effort on the defensive end of the floor. According to Dieter Kurtenbach of The Mercury News, opposing teams are “increasingly targeting” Cousins’ defense, knowing that he can’t do anything to stop them.
In an interview with Nick Friedell of ESPN, Warriors forward Draymond Green decided to defend DeMarcus Cousins from people who are blaming him for their defensive struggles.
“I think so many people are kind of looking at the starting lineup and saying, ‘Oh, DeMarcus is in there and the defense is worse,'” Green said.
“But our defense has been horses— no matter who’s in there. It’s easy to look at the numbers and think the numbers tell a story, but the fact of the matter is we haven’t been competing.”
Draymond Green admitted that he’s frustrated with their recent performance against the Celtics, saying that the Warriors didn’t come out on the court with the right intensity level and play with a competitive spirit. If there’s anyone who should take full responsibility for their defensive woes, Green believes it’s him.
“It falls on me to get guys to lock in on that side of the ball,” Green said.
“I haven’t done a good job with that because we’re clearly not locked in on that side.”
From last night: DeMarcus Cousins on his technical vs. Boston & the state of his defense https://t.co/Jj7sgWPGjY
— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) March 6, 2019
Despite their recent struggles, Draymond Green strongly believes that no one can beat the Warriors in a best-of-seven series. However, Green said that they need to show improvements with their execution and defense before the real battle begins in the Western Conference Playoffs. The Warriors still have 18 games left in the regular season in which they could use to familiarize DeMarcus Cousins with their system.
The Warriors already have a Plan B if ever DeMarcus Cousins fails to make himself with their system as they are soon expected to sign veteran center Andrew Bogut. Bogut played for the Warriors for four seasons where he helped them win an NBA championship title in 2015.