It should be a slam dunk.
When the NBA All-Star reserves are announced Thursday, Kings center DeMarcus Cousins should be included in the Western Conference roster for the game on Feb. 15 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The league announced the fan vote last week, and Cousins was seventh among frontcourt players. The starting frontcourt is the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, the Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol and the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, all deserving of a spot on the team. The backcourt was more controversial with injured Kobe Bryant of the Lakers joining MVP candidate Steph Curry of the Warriors.
NBA head coaches vote for the reserves – two guards, three in the frontcourt and two “wild cards.”
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With so many deserving guards – Klay Thompson, James Harden, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Monta Ellis – we assume both “wild-card” spots will go to backcourt players, leaving just three frontcourt reserves.
We also assume the Thunder’s Kevin Durant will land one frontcourt spot because, well, he’s Kevin Durant.
Those other two spots should go to Cousins and the Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge.
Cousins is fourth in the league in scoring (24.2 points) and third in rebounding (12.6). Only Davis tops Cousins in scoring among the bigs, and Cousins trails only the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan and the Pistons’ Andre Drummond in rebounding.
The Spurs’ Tim Duncan and the Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki will be sentimental favorites, but neither has dominated like Cousins.
We know players are penalized for their team’s record, but records are team efforts, and the Kings’ mediocre season shouldn’t be held against Cousins.
– Tom Couzens
What to watch
NBA All-Star reserves announcement, TNT,
4 p.m. : Will DeMarcus Cousins become the first Kings player selected since 2003-04?
@Vivek (Vivek Ranadive): “POTUS @BarackObama agrees @boogiecousins should be an #AllStar2015”
On this date
1964: NBC pays $36 million for the rights to broadcast AFL games for five seasons (1965-69).