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Why is DeMarcus Cousins starting?

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:27 pm
by Mike G
Cousins has started each of his 11 games with the GSW, who are 10-1 with him.
In 7 of those 11 games, the Dubs' point differential has been better with DMC on the bench.
Using this Lineup Finder page:
we find just 4 lineups of at least 10 minutes that contain Cousins.
Switch the Finder to 4-man combinations of the other 4, and we can get their effectiveness without him, for comparison.
Ranked by total counterproduction (net points lost):

Code: Select all

 w/wo Cousins                     wMP Net  woMP  Net  +pts
curry,durant,green,thompson       112  -1   625  178   -33
curry,durant,green,mckinnie        13  -2    52   87   -24
bell,curry,durant,thompson         12   3    92    3     3
green,iguodala,livingston,thompson 40  16    46   -2    18

. totals                          177  16   816  266   -36
per 48 min.                        48  4.3   48  15.6   
Final column shows points gained or lost by adding Cousins instead of someone else.
That 2nd line seems to be the Death Lineup (wo DMC) -- with Thompson, Iguodala, or Looney, they almost double opponent scoring. For 15 minutes or so, anyway.
The new guy seems to add more to a bench mob. He was, after all a 36+ Usage guy in Sacto. He's about 28 here, so far.

Three-teammate combinations with and without:

Code: Select all

 w/wo Cousins               wMP  Net   woMP   Net  +pts
curry,durant,green           98   11    672   269   -28
curry,durant,thompson        98   16    892   268   -13
durant,green,thompson        81   11    715   198   -11
curry,green,thompson         84   13    652   178   -10
cook,iguodala,livingston     28   -2     14     2    -6

green,iguodala,thompson      35   13    275    62     5
iguodala,livingston,thompson 59   19     73    15     7
cook,livingston,thompson     26    6     63    -4     8
cook,iguodala,thompson       23    6    155   -20     9
green,iguodala,livingston    45   11    111     0    11
green,livingston,thompson    45    9    100   -17    17

. totals                    622  113   3722   951   -13
per 48 min.                  48   8.7    48   12.3   
Once again, the negative effects are almost entirely with core-four starters.
He improves some otherwise losing lineups, for sure.

Re: Why is DeMarcus Cousins starting?

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:17 pm
by bondom343
More a case of managing egos I'd say. The job of a coach isn't always just putting out your best lineups especially in a case like Golden State's. They can afford to not be at their best and still consistently win games, and keeping Cousins happy reduces friction in the locker room. Given his contract and free agent status, plus him just returning from a severe injury, they're rolling with him in that spot to keep everyone happy and to get him ready for the playoffs as well (probably a little of both).

Re: Why is DeMarcus Cousins starting?

Posted: Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:22 pm
by Crow
They are giving him a look with everyone in advance of playoffs. They aren't sweating the inefficiency. They are #1 in west and likely to stay that way.

Cousins came to them unexpectedly. They are giving him what he was looking for. That example could help with future such cases.

Lets see what happens in playoffs if he isn't as good as alternatives and it actually matters.

Hayward is a similar case in terms of feeling like they should give it a full look. The regular season decision making is less important than what will happen in playoffs.

Re: Why is DeMarcus Cousins starting?

Posted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:46 am
by Mike G
So here we have a classic case of a naturally super-high Usage player who has some 15 to 20 points per 48 more impact when playing with low-Usg guys like Livingston/Iguodala/Green than he has with Durant/Curry/Thompson.

So he could probably get twice as many shots and points in 24 minutes with 2-4 bench guys; without cutting into the opportunities for the team's established stars. Win-win, it would seem.

Looney is almost a perfect fit with those core 4; DMC is not.
Maybe Curry or Durant should come in off the bench?