Ailene Voisin, sports columnist
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  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (15) reacts on technical foul called on him during game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in at Sleep Train Arena Sunday April 13, 2014 in Sacramento.

  • Associated Press

    Madison Bumgarner connects for a grand slam, a blast that ultimately decided the outcome in a 6-5 victory by the Giants over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. / pkitagaki@sacbee.com

    Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Rick Adelman waits for the strait of the game against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena Sunday April 13, 2014 in Sacramento.

Voisin's Monday Morning High Five: Cousins giveth, then taketh away

Published: Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 - 11:50 am
Last Modified: Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 - 3:36 pm

1. Cousins may miss next game: DeMarcus Cousins was exceptional, in the midst of one of the best games of his career when he was tagged with his 16th technical of the season with 1:13 remaining in Sunday's victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. This takes him over the league limit and results in an automatic one-game suspension. Which means he sits out Wednesday's 2013-14 finale against the Phoenix Suns. The Kings, of course, planned to appeal the technical - which was assessed by J.T. Orr after Cousins waved his arm and said something while walking away - but don't count on NBA officiating czar Rod Thorn rescinding the foul. What a shame. Really, Cousins has never been better, and by the way, had been technical-free since Feb. 25. Against a Wolves team featuring All-Star and Olympian Kevin Love, Cousins dominated with 35 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and three blocks. He consistently pushed the pace and passed out of double-teams, and contributed the crucial field goal on a baseline move in the closing seconds. It will be interesting to see if Cousins' improved self-control these past several weeks means he catches a break.

2. Ya gotta love Bubba: First of all, anyone who willingly answers to the name "Bubba" Watson is one brave soul. And having lived in Atlanta for several years, I can attest to the fact that, indeed, there are plenty of brave Bubbas inhabiting that part of the world. But this amiable, eminently likeable Bubba is a joy to cover and to follow, right down to his Paul McCartney haircut. Hope he never ruins the good vibes by complaining about his state taxes, like another well-known "lefty" in his profession.

3. Whither the Detroit Pistons?:What has happened to this storied franchise? Owner Tom Gores fired longtime GM (and former star) Joe Dumars, as has been predicted, but the organization is staring at a big dig. Since Dumars' assembled the squad that defeated the Lakers for the 2004 NBA Championship, the Pistons have been sliding toward irrelevance. And, yes, they have an arena issue. While the Tigers draw well at their downtown ballpark, the suburban allure of the Palace of Auburn Hills - an aging, if well-maintained building that traces back to Arco Arena days (1988) and is located in a business park well north of the city - is long gone. Don't think the Pistons win this urban vs. suburban duel.

4. Pitcher prides himself on being a good hitter: Madison Bumgarner is the Giants ace, and he can hit. How unique is that? While I remain a huge fan of the designated hitter (apologies to Bruce Jenkins of the SF Chronicle), Bumgarner's fourth-inning grand slam against the Colorado Rockies Saturday was impressive. Then again, it wasn't so long ago that Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox used fellow Hall of Famer Tom Glavine as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner.

5. Coach of “corners” returns: Finally, while Rick Adelman and I never enjoyed the coziest of relationships during his eight seasons as Kings head coach, it was great to hear the fans (and the new ownership group) acknowledge him during pregame festivities Sunday. Those close to the situation are convinced that Adelman, whose wife, Mary Kay, has health issues, is retiring at age 67. The Wolves' chronic injury issues might make the decision easier as well; they are 40-40 entering the final week, but have missed the playoffs during Adelman's three seasons in Minneapolis. One more word before parting? Hope Michael Malone is serious about incorporating elements of Adelman's "corners" series next season. I swear I saw hints Sunday: Cousins pushing the ball, orchestrating offense from the high post, teammates cutting and moving, reading and reacting. Well, next year then.

Read more articles by Ailene Voisin



Ailene Voisin, sports columnist

Ailene Voisin

Ailene Voisin was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. She earned a bachelor's degree in political science from UNLV and a law degree from the University of San Diego before committing full time to journalism.

Her career includes stops at the San Diego Union, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and time spent as the backup beat writer for Dodgers and Angels, Clippers and NBA beat writer, sports columnist, along with numerous assignments covering international events and the Olympics. Ailene joined The Sacramento Bee in 1997.

Email: avoisin@sacbee.com
Phone: 916-321-1208
Twitter: @ailene_voisin

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