The Golden State Warriors have built an NBA dynasty, one that might not be replicated again any time soon. And the scariest thing for their opponents across the league is the fact that they might get even better as this season goes on. That is due to the return of all-star caliber big man DeMarcus Cousins, who is set to make his Warriors debut as the team gets ready for its annual playoff push.
Cousins’ presence on the Warriors is interesting, in that it came cheap for the Warriors. They were able to get Cousins for just over $5 million for a couple of reasons. The first of those reasons is that players are more likely to take less money on a team that is capable of winning championships. But the second is that this is something of an audition for Cousins. A short-term deal for less money will allow Cousins to show that he is still capable of playing at a high level in hopes of signing for bigger money after this year.
The return of Cousins will make one of the greatest teams in NBA history even better, with some around the game deeming them unguardable once Cousins is fully back in the fold. Some of the best defensive teams in the league might be able to slow them down, but the point that the Warriors will be even tougher to defend is absolutely a valid one.
Tactically speaking, the return of Cousins should suck defenses into the paint somewhat, which will at least theoretically make it easier for the litany of three-point shooters of the Warriors to get their shots off. Or, Cousins can spread the floor and open up space for Kevin Durant to get to the basket, where opposing defenders will have a tough time stopping him from scoring or getting to the free throw line.
There is no doubt that the return of Cousins looms large for the rest of the league, as the Warriors are huge favorites to win the NBA Finals this year despite some inner turmoil early in the season. NBA betting odds to win the NBA Finals have the Warriors at -188, with the team with the next best odds of winning the title being the Raptors at +800. That is a massive gap given all that can go wrong over the course of an NBA season, which speaks to just how good the Warriors are and are anticipated to be with Cousins.
It will be interesting to see how the Warriors coexist on the court with Cousins, as they have never had him out there with the rest of their team before. They are good enough at sharing the ball to where it shouldn’t be a problem to find touches for him. If anything, the concern will be how he and Draymond Green work together, as both players have big personalities and can get angry. As long as that anger isn’t directed toward the officials, the Warriors should be in good shape, and should be in yet another NBA Finals.