OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- DeMarcus Cousins shoves off assistant car Jarron Collins and goes difficult because the basket. He swishes a 3-pointer from up top, then hits a jumper internal the arc at the faithful wing. Cousins drives ought the hoop and makes a shot from near range, then a turnaround jumper goes at ago he moves ought the left aspect ought commence the sequence again.
Long ago the interval of the gold condition regulars devour taken the playground because pregame warmups, there is Cousins, earbuds in, meticulously focused at his preparation. at the locker room, he is one of the first ought haul at his athletics jersey.
Cousins can't wait because his first playoff chance.
''It's been a desire time coming because him,'' Collins said. ''I definitely believe he's excited and he's ready because the minute ought play at the biggest stage. Obviously there's a destiny that goes into it, the preparation, the dedication.''
This is why Cousins approached the Warriors final summer and asked because a chance, even though he was working hind from season-ending surgery because a torn left Achilles tendon. Cousins joined the two-time defending champions because $5.3 million, a low-risk influence because popular manager Bob Myers that has worked out beautifully because both sides.
''I never concept this post used to happen, besides it's happened,'' Cousins said. ''This is my team, and anybody that's followed me ago this moment, you apprehend how I effort because my team. It's the too thing. step at them, you're stepping at me.''
Cousins patiently worked hind from a nearly yearlong lack after getting injure at January 2018 with New Orleans, calling it one of the hardest things he has gone along emotionally and physically at his career. He made his Warriors debut Jan. 18 at the street against the Clippers, showing quickly he used to create a big impact at both ends of the floor.
The four-time All-Star center's shooting stroke returned at a hurry. because him, eventually getting hind was largely conditioning and gaining might at the leg ought deal with the rigors, rate and low-post pounding of an NBA athletics again.
''What does he bark it, the Resurgence?'' Stephen Curry said. ''... We alike his fire. at condition of the playoffs, it's going ought exist amazing, it's his first run, it's going ought exist good.''
The 28-year-old Cousins steadily build a groove and more minutes at car Steve Kerr's rotations. He no longer glares at the car because taking him out of games.
''He has been accordingly much pleasure ought coach,'' Kerr said. ''And I wouldn't devour said that ago he came hind while he was rehabbing, he was no that much pleasure ought coach. He used to confirm with that, he was accordingly frustrated from the injury and from no being capable ought play and the length of his rehab. during he returned and during he's grown comfortable with the injury, with the comeback and during his credit has grown, he's been amazing ought coach.
''He's a fantastic human being, a big teammate. You bark on his frustration and his feeling at the playground accordingly people automatically classification of link labels ought him. What I bark on is feeling and feeling during he wants ought win.''
Teammate Shaun Livingston can only conceive what Cousins' first playoffs will intend after a nine-year wait, and after complete the hours of rehab. Livingston has lived along the grueling recovery from a principal injury alike Cousins impartial endured.
''We're complete going ought exist excited because him, and he's going ought exist excited,'' Livingston said. ''I desire him ought devour a big playoffs during he shows up big at big games.''
Livingston's left leg could devour been amputated 12 years ago, and the knee injury he suffered quiet with the Clippers at 2007 was accordingly earnest nobody knew if he'd stroll again allow maiden play basketball. Going because a layup, Livingston's leg buckled backward, alike ought the court, while he fell at a freak accident.
So, he can certainly unite ought Cousins' comeback challenges. Livingston offered an encouraging word whenever Cousins seemed ought lack that hoist or encouragement.
''It's handsome gratifying ought bark on that. ... It feels good ought bark on somebody that, you influence at along the war and then you're capable ought fetch hind and devour success at this level,'' Livingston said. ''Put at a destiny of work, more importantly what is fulfilling ought bark on is ought bark on the difficult career salary off, during I memorize the difficult career he's put in, getting ought the gym early, getting his routine in. He's put at a destiny of career into his body accordingly he could fetch out and play and conduct at the court.''
Cousins has taken his assault athletics ought another level, finding a rhythm at gold State's offense and finding the blank teammate with hard ball movement. ago his return, Cousins insisted he understood how things might exist at a starting lineup of All-Stars: ''It's obvious I won't exist taking during many shots during I devour at the past,'' he said.
He is dangerous from anywhere, shooting the 3, moving healthful and picture defenders ought him. One of the NBA's most predominant big men while healthy, he is taking charges at the defensive aim and altering shots.
''I never doubt DeMarcus. He's another guy that's got big pride, big competitor,'' Nuggets car Michael Malone said. ''He's frequently impartial wanted ought exist a divide of a winning team and a winning organization. Now he has that here. He's a guy that he frequently gets overlooked during of the quantity of talent and depth this team.
''You anxiety nearly this team at the 3-point line, healthful DeMarcus is a guy that at the playoffs you can influence at ought and pound the ball internal into the post, he's going ought score, entertain fouled, or chart a double-team and discover an blank teammate. What a big luxury ought have.''
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