Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins restrained his head coach, Mike Malone, after the latter was about to go after the referees for a questionable charging call on Cousins. The Kings beat the Phoenix Suns in overtime, 114-112, on Nov. 7.
DeMarcus Cousins is definitely becoming a better leader for the Sacramento Kings.
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The Kings center and Team USA member restrained his head coach, Mike Malone, after the latter was about to go after the referees during Sacramento's 114-112 overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 7, per InFlexWeTrust.com's Shay Marie:
"DeMarcus Cousins is definitely growing as a player, both physically and mentally. Cousins is known to have a hot temper but he's been working on it and it definitely showed during the Sacramento Kings game against the Phoenix Suns.
"The game was tied at 99 apiece with under 40 seconds left. Cousins was called for a foul after he set a screen that sent Marcus Morris to the ground. It was a questionable call and it was clear that Morris put on an acting job, but the refs called it and it was the sixth for Cousins which means he was out for the rest of the game. Cousins was shocked at the call but was able to contain himself, coach Mike Malone on the other hand was irate. Cousins had to restrain him to keep him from going after the refs."
After the Kings ran their record to 5-1 after the win over the Suns, SBNation.com's Liam Boylan-Pett raved about Cousins' performance this season:
"DeMarcus Cousins has yet to be whistled for a technical this season. Sure, it's only been six games, but Cousins set a goal of being tagged with five or fewer techincals this season -- and he's following through. His new-found maturity is certainly playing a role in the improved Boogie Cousins, but there's more to to his play this season than a subdued attitude.
"Cousins and the Sacramento Kings are off to a surprising 5-1 start thanks to an improved defense and a noticeable toughness and confidence on both sides of the court. Darren Collison had been a great addition so far while Rudy Gay has done what's expected of him and Ben McLemore has shown flashes. For Cousins, though, he's stepping up in more ways than one to lead the Kings to a fast start.
"The one digression in Cousins' game this season is that he can't stay out of foul trouble. He's averaging 4.8 fouls per game (he was at 3.8 last year) and it's keeping his minutes down. He fouled out of in the Kings' win over the Denver Nuggets in only 22:29 of play on Nov. 5. He's averaging 29.8 minutes per game (down from 32.4 in 2013-14) yet impacting the game more. He's scoring more points (24.2 per game versus 22.7 last year) and his usage rate is up to 31.1. from 30.7. Meanwhile, his PER is way up: 30.43 this season compared to 26.18.
"Cousins shot 49.6 percent from the field last year on 16.8 shots per game and averaged 22.7 points. This year, he's averaging 24.2 on 50 percent shooting with 15.7 shots a game. Maybe one less shot is because he's playing fewer minutes, but he's making up for it in other ways, like getting to the free throw line. Last year he shot 8.4 free throws a game. This year, he's shooting 10.5. Plus, he's making them, just like his teammates...
"The Kings are averaging 82 percent at the charity stripe and Cousins is at 81 percent. Plus, they're getting to the line more. Cousins is getting to the line 10.5 times per game, and the Kings are shooting 39.8 free throws a game. That's tops in the league by over five shots a game, and since they're shooting at a high percentage, the're getting six more points per game from the free throw (line) than any team in the league (32.7 free throws made per game).
"After Cousins fouled out with 39 seconds left in regulation on Friday night against the Phoenix Suns, it would have been easy for the Kings to fold. Instead, they ended the first overtime on a 7-0 run and the second with six unanswered to pick up an improbable win. The biggest difference is the team's defensive efficiency. Last year it was 106.3. This year it's 98.7, which ranks seventh in the league.
"It's not just Cousins who matured, it's the entire Kings team. It's still early, but at 5-1 with only a loss to the Golden State Warriors, these Kings appear ready to stay near the top in the West."
The 24-year-old Cousins has averaged 18.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 297 career regular-season games for the Sacramento Kings, per ESPN stats.
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