The wait is almost over. DeMarcus Cousins is scheduled to make his Warriors debut on Friday in Los Angeles against the Clippers at Staples Center.
That Cousins will be the starting center means the Warriors will man all five positions with players that have made multiple appearances in All-Star games.
It’s enough to send a wave of dread through the rest of the NBA, according to Lakers radio analyst Mychal Thompson, who also happens to be the father of Warriors All-Star Klay Thompson.
“Once he gets in there, when the game slows down and gets to halfcourt basketball,” Thompson said on the Warriors Insider Podcast this week, “they’re going to be unguardable.”
Cousins will be joining a lineup that features Kevin Durant and Draymond Green at forwards, with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson at guards.
Only Green is averaging less than 19 points per game for his career. Durant averages 27.2 points, Curry 23.4, Cousins 21.5 points and Thompson 19.4. Not since 2013-14 has any of the four scorers averaged less than 20 points in a season.
“You cannot double (Cousins) and leave Steph or Klay or KD or Quinn Cook and those guys alone,” Thompson said. “He’s just going to add another dimension, another tough option to have to deal if you’re on defense.”
Though Cousins is most often associated with scoring – and being high strung on the court – his offense may be the most multifaceted of any big man in the league.
As someone who spent his 13-year NBA career at center and power forward, Mychal Thompson knows a bit about what goes on in the paint.
“He’s a smart player,” Thompson said of Cousins. “He’s a great passer, not just a scorer. He’s an excellent passer from the mid-post or low post.
“When he gets back, if he can turn into DeMarcus Cousins after a couple weeks, the NBA is going to be on notice. They know they’re going to be in trouble if that happens.”