There are a lot of things that are hard to imagine in real life. Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, equal economic opportunity.
You get the point. However, with a shocking All-Star weekend trade sending DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins to the New Orleans, the imaginary has become reality. Two of the best big men in the league will be on the same team. So, what exactly will that look like? And will it be as fantastic as it sounds?
Oh, this looks beautiful already. A quick recap of how ridiculous this is.
- New Orleans has the 4th worst offense in the league
- Boogie (tied for 9th) and Anthony Davis (7th) rank top ten in player efficiency rating.
- They’re also two of the top five scorers in the league, averaging 27.8 and 27.7 points respectively
- Boogie averages 10 free throw attempts a game, Davis averages 7.6
- Boogie’s three-point percentage: 35.6% on almost 5 attempts a game
I mean, I could go on but I’ll stop there. In short, offensively, the two appear a match in heaven. Davis has often expressed concern playing the center position and now he won’t have to. Boogie was always forced play power forward though it was clearly not a great fit. Though the two may bump into each other fighting for low post position, both have potent mid-range games. In fact, Boogie can step a few feet back and even hit threes. Oh, and I forgot to mention he’s also one of the best passing big men in the league with 4.8 a game. Goodness, this is wonderful. There’s really only up to go from here.
Understandably, this side of the floor is always more difficult to pinpoint. However, here’s what we do know:
- Anthony Davis leads the league with 2.5 blocks a game; Cousins is top 20 with 1.3
- Neither is great at stealing the ball: Davis – 1.3, Cousins – 1.4
- New Orleans has the 8th best defensive efficiency rating; (I’m surprised too)
I think I’m still blown away by NO’s defense. I literally refreshed the page four times. Any who, even here, the fit works relatively well. Davis will likely continue to be a shot-blocking presence while Cousins will at least be a competent sidekick. Neither is great at stealing the ball but that’s negligible in regards to their position. What makes this particularly intriguing is how far in defense they’ll likely drop. While Cousins is by no means an open door that love is (sorry, I couldn’t help it), he’s still not great. However, when you’re eighth in defense, even a relatively strong decline could have New Orleans slotted at 15th. That’s average but workable. It’s still a win!
Will they make the playoffs?
Yes. Yes. Yes. It’s unlikely they’ll catch the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are nine games ahead in the 7 spot, but eighth seed is possible. They’re only 2.5 games out of the eighth seed with a third of the season left. Their team is also (now) vastly more talented than the current eighth place holder, the Denver Nuggets. So yeah, bye Denver. Hey, New Orleans! However, this makes things really interesting because their first round matchup will almost definitively be…the fire breathing Golden State Warriors.
Will they beat the Monstars of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and co.?
Hahahahah, hell no. Not even close. Golden State is a well-oiled machine on pace to win 70 games. New Orleans is trying to make the playoffs. That said, the matchup is interesting because though Golden State will likely fly swat this upstart team away, the biggest weakness of the Warriors is rebounding. They just aren’t a big team. Well, look what we have here. Davis and Cousins are two of the best big men and best rebounders in the league. They’re also very skilled at drawing fouls. Again, fans should expect a first round appearance (and maybe even a win too!) but anything beyond that this season is…not likely.
All that said, I’m absolutely thrilled. Now where can I buy a jersey?