DeMarcus Cousins leads the Kings in four categories the team has no problem highlighting – scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots.
But there’s one area the Kings would not like their center to lead the team in, turnovers.
Cousins had 61 giveaways entering Wednesday’s game against the Utah Jazz at Sleep Train Arena. Cousins was coming off a nine-turnover night in Monday’s win over Dallas.
Some of those turnovers have come when Cousins has been dribbling in the open court. Some centers give the ball up almost immediately after rebounds, but Cousins’ dribbling ability is better than most big men.
“It’s a catch-22 because he has a unique set of skills for a big guy,” said Kings coach Michael Malone. “He has shown the ability to rebound, push the break and make a play for himself and for his teammate. There are other times he’s shown the ability to rebound, push the break and kick it off his foot into the third row.”
Malone said he doesn’t want to restrict Cousins’ freedom on the court to make plays. Malone added all mistakes are gone over during film session and Cousins hears about all the mistakes, including those that happen when he’s playing like a point guard.
“Usually if I don’t give it up it’s a situation where it’s a chance if I pass it to the guard it’ll get stolen so I just bring it up the court,” Cousins said. “I’m not just out there trying to turn the ball over. It was a rough night (against Dallas). I believe I usually handle those situations well.”
Getting technical, again – Cousins was called for his sixth technical foul of the season by referee Gary Zielinski with 6:29 left in the third quarter.
Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. Houston center Dwight Howard and Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin each have five technical fouls this season.
Players are subject to suspension for one game when they reach 16 technical fouls.
Malone also picked up his third technical of the season. It was called by official Kevin Cutler with 4:11 left in the third. Malone was arguing for a foul call for Cousins after he lost the ball in a crowd of Jazz players.
Still leading – Because he’s only started two games, Isaiah Thomas is still the NBA’s leading bench scorer at 17.8 points per game. Thomas is now the starting point guard after Monday’s trade sent starter Greivis Vasquez to Toronto.