Why DeMarcus Cousins Means So Much to Kings, Fans


It’s no surprise that a team without their star player is going to have issues, and, as expected, the Sacramento Kings are feeling the effects while struggling without DeMarcus Cousins, who’s been battling with a viral infection. The big-man, Boogie, Purple Hulk, whatever you’ve seen him called or drawn up, obviously plays a key part in the Kings resurgence this year to, maybe not an exceptional team, but just a team worth mentioning. Which is why DeMarcus Cousins means so much to the Kings and the team’s fans.

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The Kings with and without Cousins statistically is a drastic difference, according to Basketball Reference, the Kings offensively with Cousins on the bench, per 100 possessions score 10.1 points less, and on the defensive side give up 16.4 more points when Cousins is off the floor than when he’s on. The Kings assist percentage also goes down 3.9% when Cousins is on the bench, or has been the case recently, not suited up. The team’s effective field goal percentage (FG%) also takes a knock, from .520 to .451.

The Kings, in their past three games without Cousins have been able to hang in games, even after falling behind by double-digits, but have consistently been outplayed in the fourth quarter. In large part, due to the constant one-on-one attempts, the lack of movement, and the hero-ball down the stretch. The fourth quarter, so far this season, has been one of Cousins’ highlights, with him shooting a .604 FG%, compared to .476, .462, .514, in the first three periods, respectively.

It’s no coincidence that the Kings lost to two teams they had beaten, yes I said beaten, just days before with Cousins on the floor, in San Antonio and Memphis.

Cousins may have come a year or so later than the 17-65 season, but he sure was there for the after-effects of that season, from the coaching changes to the relocation efforts. That’s something that makes this season special. I know we’re only 18 games in, but for Kings fans, it’s not just 18 games of an 82-game season. Its 18 games to start the beginning of a new history. Cousins is the step in the right direction we’ve needed and begged for years.

Which is why Cousins’ absence has been such a battle for fans to handle and for the team. It’s so easy to look at the 9-9 record and see hope, but also not help but wonder if once that record drops below .500%, could that be equivalent to the Kings clock striking midnight? A nice story for the sports world to talk about for the first couple weeks of the season, before expectedly throwing us back down into the basement once again.

It’s not just the team feeling the effects of Cousins’ absence, the fans too have to realize that there’s no time to hang your heads. This wasn’t for me to act like a drama-queen, there is a legit panic amongst fans. But it’s way too early for that. This team needs to rebound, and once Cousins returns after the weekend, expect the team to once again hit a stride.