Ailene Voisin

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

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.

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