The Duel

DeMarcus Cousins Could Be Biggest X-Factor for Warriors in 2019 NBA Playoffs

By Kevin Nardone
Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors
Denver Nuggets v Golden State Warriors / Ezra Shaw

Cover Photo: Getty Images

It is hard to say that the two-time defending NBA champions need an "x-factor" this postseason, but after signing DeMarcus Cousins to a one-year "prove-it" deal, fans and analysts alike were excited to see what the Golden State Warriors would look like with the four-time NBA All-Star in the mix.

Cousins played in 30 games this season, averaging 16.3 points per game (PPG), 8.2 rebounds per game (RPG) and 3.6 assists per game. These statistics are drastically down from his career averages of 21.2 PPG and 10.9 RPG, but that can be attributed to him playing just 25.7 minutes per game, the lowest minutes-average of his career.

Additionally, at 6' 11" and 270 pounds, Cousins offers a physical presence that the versatile-but-relatively-small Warriors haven't had during their dynasty.

The Warriors were dominant in stretches this season and, like Cousins, seem to be hitting their stride at the right time of the year. In four April games, the big man averaged 20.5 PPG and 11.0 RPG.

Cousins also has an intangible value to Golden State, whose core has played in four straight NBA Finals. He's a fiery competitor who is hungry for his first NBA championship and coach Steve Kerr believes that is a motivator for his team, saying that his guys "want to see him win a championship."

Cousins' impact on and off the court will be invaluable to the Warriors this postseason, as there are a number of formidable contenders that are looking to knock Golden State from its recent reign of supremacy over the NBA.

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