Kings center DeMarcus Cousins is averaging 23.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.9 steals. He’s shooting 49.4 percent, easily on pace for a career high. Cousins’ play has led to more questions about whether Cousins is worthy of being an All-Star this season.
If this were under the old system, in which centers weren’t lumped in as “frontcourt” players, Cousins would be almost guaranteed to make the squad. Cousins leads all centers in scoring and heading into today’s game against Cleveland, only Minnesota forward Kevin Love was averaging at least 23 points and 11 rebounds.
“It’s unfortunate, but like I said a lot of things have changed when it comes to the All-Star Game,” Cousins said.
The Kings’ 13-22 record won’t help Cousins’ chances. But the Kings have time to win a few more games and Cousins has time to impress more coaches.
The Kings’ record is the one thing most likely to keep Cousins out of the game. His statistics will be on par with the best bigs in the game.
But there remains the chance a less talented player on a good team could be selected ahead of Cousins.
“Some guys are All Stars because their team is good,” Cousins said. “That’s not an All Star.”
A good way for Cousins to further his campaign for the game would be to start the upcoming six-game road trip with a good game against Defensive Player of the Year candidate Roy Hibbert.
Cousins was asked about his level of excitement playing Hibbert.
“You guys have been around me long enough,” Cousins said. “You know how I feel when I play these guys that are considered better. So we’ll see.”
“Yeah, it was good for us,” said Rudy Gay. “We had some things we had to hash out. Of course us (Gay, Quincy Acy and Aaron Gray) being the new guys it really wasn’t really about us, we didn’t really have anything. But we realize what we need to do coming in and how we need to affect this team. So for us, that’s what helped us.”• Gay on his mindset for he road trip:
“Don’t forget anything. I always do – I end up forgetting a pair of socks or underwear or something. But other than that, it was good we got this win before we go out. It’s a long road trip, it’s a long flight and in the back of our minds we know we have momentum going into games. So it was good to get these games going into it.”• Kings coach Michael Malone summed up the five-game homestand, that the Kings finished 3-2 after looking bad in two losses to open the homestand:
“Definitely, very happy that we won three in a row obviously, but more importantly, I think it’s the way that we won. I told our guys we didn’t play the right type of basketball against Philadelphia and Charlotte but I thought against Portland we held that team to 43 percent, Orlando we held them to 33 percent and this team tonight we held them to 39 percent and the low 80s (points). I realize that the defense is not going to happen overnight and when you make trades and you bring all these new guys in you have to constantly hit the reset button. They bought in the last three games. We defended at a high level and we protected our home court three times in a row so that’s great going on the road for a very daunting six-game road trip.”