The Golden State Warriors were already heavy favorites to win their third consecutive NBA championship. When DeMarcus Cousins agreed to join the Warriors for the 2018-19 season, many players and fans groaned at the prospect of a non-competitive scenario.
When Cousins heals, the Warriors will appear next to unbeatable. NBA futures now rate the Golden State Warriors as -175 favorites to win another ring, according to odds from BeABetterBettor.com, which translates to a 63.64% chance to win the 2019 NBA Finals.
Some will blame Boogie and Durant for chasing a ring with an established champion, but that opinion ignores the unique free agent market scenario which created the current dearth of parity – and a strange lack of demand for the services of DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins Career Straddles The Three-Point Era
Before DeMarcus Cousins broke out under the tutelage of coach Mike Malone, Boogie was already one of the most exciting young talents in the association. Over his first three seasons, Cousins averaged 16.3 PPG, 9.8 RPG and 2.3 APG, along with 1.3 steals and 0.9 blocks.
When coach Malone served as bench boss for the Kings, DeMarcus responded by turning into an all-star. Cousins lifted his game into elite territory, averaging 22.7 PPG, 11.7 RPG and 2.9 APG. Perhaps more impressive, he leveraged his impressive frame and athleticism as a rim protector and defensive menace, with 1.3 blocks and 1.5 steals per game.
After a 9-5 start to the 2015 season, DeMarcus went down with an injury, which triggered a Kings losing streak and the departure of coach Malone, who established an excellent rapport with Cousins. Boogie balled out anyway, with 24.5 PPG, 11.9 RPG, 3.2 APG and 1.5 steals and
1.5 blocks per game during his next three seasons. DeMarcus even added a three-point shot to his arsenal, hitting treys at a .356 rate during his last campaign with the Kings.
Sacramento attempted to build winner around DeMarcus, but things didn’t work out for either party in the constantly shifting competitive landscape of the NBA. When Cousins entered the association during the 2010-11 season, the rise of the three pointer was just beginning and the value of a traditional big man had yet to fall.
Cousins career happened to begin at the end of an era while his prime years took place in the beginning of another basketball milieu – a strange situation for any talented athlete.
Is Boogie The Least Wanted NBA All-Star?
A trade from Sacramento to New Orleans was best for everyone, giving Cousins a chance to make the playoffs while stocking the Kings with vital draft picks and prospects. Despite concerns that Boogie and the Brow wouldn’t mesh well as towering, ball-centric big men, DeMarcus Cousins altered his game to compensate for the interior dominance of Anthony Davis.
In 2017-18, Cousins posted personal highs of 12.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game, along with 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks per game. Statistically, DeMarcus distributed more than ever alongside Davis while absorbing more physical punishment in the paint than any other point in his career.
A blown Achilles during a hustle play would prevent Cousins from completing his first full season with a playoff contender. This forced him to watch from the sidelines as Playoff Rondo and Davis swept Portland, before the Warriors eliminated the Pelicans in five games. After playoff
success without DeMarcus, New Orleans decided to focus more on the perimeter shooting of Nikola Mirotić.
Incredibly, zero teams offered Cousins a contract offer for the 2018-19 season, despite the fact that he would immediately boost the championship hopes of any contender when his Achilles heals. DeMarcus and his agent obviously planned for this contingency, because they didn’t wait long before joining the Warriors for a ludicrously low $5.3 million single-year contract.
NBA Parity And The Salary Cap Can’t Stop Warriors
On paper, the Golden State Warriors have the greatest starting lineup in NBA history for the 2018-19 season. Curry, Thompson, Durant, Green and Cousins should be able to completely decimate any opposition. A few years ago, no one would dare believe that this group could play together outside of an all-star or summer Olympics squad.
When the news spread over basketball Twitter, players and fans lined up to express their displeasure with Cousins and the Warriors organization. Some even hinted at forgoing the next season, implying that Golden State cannot be beat unless injury strikes. Even then, the Warriors would probably win a championship minus two all-stars.
The current labor agreement, Boogie’s injury and the three-point era created the conditions necessary to undervalue the services of DeMarcus Cousins. Signing Kevin Durant became possible with the rapid rise of the salary cap due to a rich television and media deal.
Some blame players or teams for the lack of parity, but the revenue increase of the new contract with TNT and ESPN injected the NBA with a dose of healthy chaos.
Parity’s never been the end goal of the NBA – and that’s fine. Superpowers have almost always ruled over the association, including the Celtics, Lakers, Bulls, Pistons, Spurs and whatever team employs LeBron.
Overall, the sport continues to thrive worldwide. The current narrative of “the Warriors versus the world” doesn’t damage pro basketball. If anything, witnessing unprecedented greatness drives interest in the sport, and Boogie’s presence will add to the legend of the Golden State Warriors.
TEAM USA Drops To France
Yesterday, top favorite for winning the World Cup, Serbia, went out in the quarter-finals, while today the US team also got eliminated by France. Although the biggest NBA stars didn’t participate for the USA, they were still considered as the second favorite for retaining the title won in 2014. This is not the surprise after Turkey missed the chance to beat the Americans only due to their own mistakes and fear of a win, but such an experienced team as France knows how to grab this opportunity.
After the first quarter, teams went to the short break evens, while in the second, France started taking the main word in this match. Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert were a dominant duo and after several very attractive actions, France managed to score 27 points into the second quarter. They had a six-point lead after the first 20 minutes of the game. France was almost in the constant lead of the match, while the US side had a maximum advantage of three points in the first quarter.
French side continued in the same fashion in the third quarter as well and their advantage rose to 10 points. However, after several mistakes in their offensive actions, they spilled everything and let go the Americans get a three-point lead. When the current world champions went seven points ahead, 72:65, even French fans doubted that their team will get back into the game and book their place in the semi-finals. In that period, France had a very bad control of a defensive rebound and they conceded a lot of second-chance points.
But something went wrong for the US team as they managed to score only three points in the last three minutes of the game, as reported by BettingTips4You stats. Their free-throws percentage went down rapidly as Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker missed some shots. On the other side, although they were not at the first-half level, Furnier bagged very important shots, while Gobert booked a couple of offensive rebounds which were eventually converted into points. The United States didn’t have the solution for French defense, they even missed some open shots and sitters, while French team was flying on the wings of their excellent effort. Nando De Colo’s cool head and steady arm were keeping the advantage for the French team intact as he scored five puts of six free throws. Eventually, France won by a ten-point margin, they totally deserved the victory and the chance to challenge the top spot.
The US team needed more scorers in this game as only Donovan Mitchell met the expectations with 29 points scored, although his field goals percentage went just above 50%. Kemba Walker was stopped at 10 points with a very bad evening as he scored twice from nine attempts, excluding the free-throws. They were outplayed in the paint as French side booked 16 rebounds more than their opponents. Gobert showed the class with 21 points scored and 16 rebounds, although he spent only six minutes on the bench. Both sides were a bit under 50% field goals percentage but eventually missed free throws cost the US team a win.
To summarize, France is going to take on the winner of the last quarter-finals between Australia and the Czech Republic, while the USA will play classification matches. Ironically, their first opponent is going to be Serbia, but everybody expected to see these two sides in the finals and not in the battle for the 5th spot. The match is going to be played tomorrow and there’s a very little time for preparation, so it wouldn’t be surprising if Serbia pulls an upset as they had a day more to recover. The side which is more mentally strong should win tomorrows match.
NBA Players at FIBA World Cup
FIBA World Cup is the top basketball event this season and by September 15th, we are going to find out who is the best national team in the world. Although some of the biggest NBA stars canceled their participation as they want to prepare for the upcoming season, there is a number of NBA players in other national team rosters. As a result, a record 54 current NBA players is participating on FIBA World Cup. We are going to mention some of the biggest names and take look at their stats at this tournament. Also if you wish to bet on remaining WC games, check BettingOffers.Cash for latest promos.
Milwaukee Bucks star, who was voted as the Most valuable player in NBA league last season, was tipped to drive Greece towards the very latest stages of the tournament. However, they failed to reach the quarter-finals and Antetokounmpo somehow didn’t meet the expectations. In the key games against Brazil and the USA, which Greece lost both, Giannis managed to score 13 and 15 points respectively, with pretty weak field shots percentage against the Cariocas. Czech Republic’s defense also managed to stop him, since Giannis finished the match scoring 12 points and getting into foul trouble very early in the game. All in all, the expectations were much higher for the NBA league MVP.
It is the first time after a while that Jokic is going to play for Serbian national team on a big tournament. Serbia’s roster is full of talented players and Nikola is certainly one of the biggest names. Denver Nuggets power forward hasn’t scored too many points so far in the competition, but since Serbia was pretty confident in the first and second round, there wasn’t a need for having Nikola more than 20 minutes per game. Jokic has a very good field shot percentage, which is nearly 80% on the tournament level, and it might be even better if Nikola and the team haven’t put a pretty poor performance against Spain. Definitely, we can expect to see more from this guy, and he might be the one who can lead Serbia towards the battle for the world champion title.
Interestingly, top three NBA stars come from the non-US national teams. French center and Utah Jazz star is one of the best defenders in the tournament. Although he is not a top-scorer, Gobert is putting constantly good performances at the World Cup. He is dominating in the paint and collecting a number of defensive rebounds. His current average is 8.4 rebounds per game in addition to 11 points for 25 minutes spent on the court. However, France lost the top position in their group and they need to take a much harder path toward the very latest stages of the tournament. We will see how much Rudy Gobert can help his national team enter the battle for the trophy.
Finally, we have the first US player in this list. This point guard showed some good displays at this tournament and most importantly, he is one of the most consistent US players at the World Cup. Walker is scoring between 13 and 16 points per game, however, he is taking a lot of shots and his field shot percentage is at 50%. On the other hand, Kemba is positioned in the top 10 list for most assists on the tournament and so far, he is booking 6 assists per game in average. The US team needs him to keep up and continue with good displays in order to reach another finals and the battle for the world crown.
Italy failed to qualify for the knockout stage, but Danilo Gallinari was one of the best players in the team. Italians lost their key match against Spain in which Danilo contributed with 15 points. However, he didn’t manage to put a replay from the match against Serbia when he bagged 26 points from all positions. Currently, Oklahoma City Thunder power forward is among the 15 top scorers on the tournament, but he is certainly going to decline as the championship deciders are about to be played. So, this was an individually good campaign for Gallinari, but it wasn’t followed by the national team success.
Marc is one of the leaders of the Spanish national team and they are going to be involved in the battles for medals. Although they have several injured players, Spain is still one of the candidates for the highest-ranking and Gasol’s experience will be crucial. He had a bad night only against Italy, but fortunately for him, Spain managed to win and book their ticket for the knockout round. In that match, Marc scored only one two-pointer from six shots during his 27 minutes in the game. In other matches, he was one of the central figures as he was scoring 10+ points per match. Gasol should be looking forward to improving the percentage of 3-point shots as he is under 20% regarding this parameter. We expect him to be one of the central figures in the Spanish national team in the upcoming matches.
Bogdan is one of the candidates for the tournament’s top scorer title as he is currently over 20 points per match in average. Sacramento Kings’ and Serbian shooting guard is driving his national team in the battle for the top spot as they are considered as the favorite number one for lifting the World Cup trophy. Bogdan didn’t have his best evening in the match against Puerto Rico where he scored only five points with the field shots percentage of 1/8, but he managed to bag 26 and 31 points against Spain and Italy respectively. He is expected to be the driving force along with Nikola Jokic and Nemanja Bjelica, other two Serbian NBA stars in the upcoming matches and if he keeps it up, Bogdanovic will be one of the top picks for the tournament’s best line-up. Bogdanovic is at the peak of his career and besides being a high-scorer, he also produces almost five assists per match in average.
Can The Detroit Pistons Make The Playoffs Next Season?
Before you know it, a new NBA season will be starting. Then, it will be time to start arguing with your friends about. Can you figure out who is going to make the playoffs ahead of time? Well, many are arguing that the Detroit Pistons will make it in this season. Last season, the team finished with a record of 41 wins and 41 losses. They were left right in the middle of the pack. They emerged as the number 8 seed in the playoffs. Nevertheless, they have a lot of improving to do during the off season. Will they be able to improve enough to make a real run at the championship this season?
To do so, they’ll need to beat several big teams. These teams will be explored in greater depth below.
First and foremost, the Pistons will have to contend with the Milwaukee Bucks. In just a few years, Giannis Antetokounmpo will become a free agent. That will prove to be a big blow to the Bucks. Nevertheless, the team has attempted to soften the blow of his departure with the signing of Khris Middleton to a 5-year contract. Middleton will be paid $178 million. To bring the signing to fruition, the team had to make some hard choices elsewhere. Those decisions may backfire in the near future.
The team has lost Malcolm Brogdon and Nikola Mirotic. These losses may very well give Detroit the ability to slide past the team and obtain a higher ranking next season. It is only a matter of time before you get to see how everything unfolds.
Next up, you have the Philadelphia 76ers. The team managed to rank higher than the Pistons last season. They ended things with a final score of 51 wins and 31 losses. Unfortunately, the team has lost some big players. For starters, Jimmy Butler is out and he is taking JJ Redick with him. However, they picked up Josh Richardson and Al Horford. There is a real possibility that the team will be required to swap Embiid and Horford in and out for games. Horford is getting old and Embiid has a history of getting injured. That could create major problems for the 76ers when they face off against some of the better teams.
This is one of the main reasons online pokies pro and other analysts believe that the 76ers will actually do worse this season. Will they be right? You’ll find out soon enough.
The Raptors were spectacular last season. After all, they snatched the NBA title away from the Golden State Warriors. Unfortunately, the off season has not been kind to the Raptors. For starters, the team has let Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard enter the free agency. The team still have some great players though. For instance, they’ll still have Fred VanVleet, Serge Ibaka, Marc Gasol, and Kyle Lowry. Unfortunately, they’re going to have a much tougher time defending their title. Without Leonard and Green, the team is not going to be the favorite heading into next season.
Will they do better than the Pistons? That is a toss-up at this point. Anything can happen between now and then. However, the Detroit Pistons should have an easier time at least gaining ground here.
Finally, you have the Boston Celtics. The team finished the season with 49 wins and 33 losses. They were slightly better than Detroit. Danny Ainge focused intently on attempting to bring Anthony Davis in. That fell through. Nevertheless, the team should bounce back from last season. While they’ve already lost Kyrie and Horford, they should be able to replicate last season’s success and do even better. Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum should be able to pick up the pieces left behind by Horford and Marcus Morris. If they’re able to do that, the Celtics will have a shot at the championship.
Enes Kanter should be a good addition too. He might lack in terms of defense but his offensive production is exactly what the Celtics need right now. So, will they be able to end the season ahead of the Detroit Pistons? At this point, the answer seems to be yes. However, the Pistons may surprise everyone next season.