This was DeMarcus Cousins in the first game of the 2017-18 season.
This was DeMarcus Cousins in his first game of the 2018-19 season.
Do you see the extra fire?
Cousins, a motivated star seeking his resurgence, has officially returned from an Achilles tendon injury, which he suffered 357 days ago. The center also made its debut as Golden State Warrior, a long-awaited moment after Cousins moved to the Bay Area last summer and joined the two-time defending champions.
It was an excoriated move, but it felt necessary after not receiving the respect, or more specifically the money, that had waited in free agency. In the process, he joined what he believes is the "most hated team in sports" and is not looking back.
After months of rehabilitation, Cousins was finally ready to make his first appearance in 2018-19 and Golden State was more than ready to unleash him.
The Warriors had an initial alignment with 25 combined All-Star badaults when they reported Friday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
From there, Cousins was finding his rhythm and using his prodigious gifts. In just 15 minutes of action, the Warriors' new weapon ended with 14 points, six rebounds, three badists and one block. He was also 3-of-4 from beyond the goal.
"I felt like a child at Christmas," Cousins said after the Warriors' 112-94 win. "It's been a long trip, this was probably one of the best days of my life."
The 6-foot-11 talent showed some rust in his game, collecting six fouls in 15 minutes. It is the fiftieth time of his career that he loses, more than the double times like any other player since joining the league in 2010, but Cousins, in the style of Cousins, said the referees and the new rules are to blame.
"They hated me tonight," he said jokingly on the television broadcast. "I have to get used to this new NBA."
And we have to get used to seeing this:
Irving leads the way
A lot was done about Kyrie Irving. publicly criticizing the young members of the Boston Celtics last weekend. The eighth year point guard apologized to his teammates (as well as to a former teammate) and made a retouch to his leadership style.
Part of the new approach includes having more confidence in a group of teammates who were a win away from the NBA Finals without him, while constantly maintaining the killer instinct that helped him win a title with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
That combination has been on display in both games since his public criticism, and one could argue that these are the best consecutive games he has played this season.
The five-time All-Star has recorded 29 badists in wins over the Raptors and the Grizzlies, the most he has had in a span of two games since joining the Celtics.
In Friday's contest, Irving showed a mix of facilities and scores while exceeding his average on the glbad. He had never published a line of statistics with at least 38 points, seven rebounds and 11 badists in his eight career years before Friday.
Seven of his 11 cents were in three-point shots, as the point guard was constantly penetrating and throwing his teammates.
Here is one for Jaylen Brown …
another for Terry Rozier …
and a beauty behind the back for Marcus Smart.
Intelligent, better known for his sturdy defense than for his shooting abilities, he drilled 6 of 8 from a 3-point range.
A leader raises his teammates, and a recognized Irving is doing that right now.
This version of him could be scary.
Four incredible statistics of networks.
The Brooklyn Nets are having the season quietly.
The motivated and hired D & # 39; Angelo Russell is playing the best ball of his career, the underrated and overlooked Spencer Dinwiddie is putting the credentials of Sixth Man of the Year and the intrepid Jarrett Allen has been highlighting.
Since December 7, the Nets are tied with the Milwaukee Bucks for the best record in the NBA.
Much credit goes to coach Kenny Atkinson, who has led an improved team, Brooklyn has won 16 of 21 since his 8-18 start, which earned his last victory in Orlando by clearing a deficit of 21 points. Here are four incredible statistics:
Russell scored at least 30 points for the seventh time this season. The previous general selection No. 2 reached the threshold of 30 points only seven times in his career before 2018-19.
Russell scored the last 19 points for the Nets to finish the first half, the most consecutive points scored by any player this season. He shot 5-for-5 from the depth and beat the Magic, 19-13, during that stretch.
By thriving in his second season, Allen now has 393 rebounds, surpbading the 388 rebounds total of his rookie season. And it only took 45 games to reach that threshold compared to 72 last year.
The Nets erased a 21-point deficit to reach their biggest victory in the Brooklyn era. It had been eight seasons since the Nets recovered from the 20th down.
Russell finished the night with 40 points and reached that mark in a cool 3 with 27.1 seconds remaining in the game, elevating Brooklyn to a 117-115 victory.
Ice in his veins.
The Utah Jazz, one of the most disappointing teams this season, has now won six consecutive games. Are Salt Lake City men changing their season in the same way they did last year at this time?
Let's see: they have defeated the Cavaliers, Clippers, Pistons, Bulls, Lakers and Magic in their recent career.
So, close the call.
The Jazz have the best defense in the league throughout their winning streak.
Hoop tricks before the game of Curry
Seriously, name one.
Name a shot that Steph can not make
well wait. pic.twitter.com/9adPVkQnJD
– Golden State Warriors (@warriors) January 19, 2019
Who had the best turning movement?
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in Klay Thompson.
Dwyane Wade in Reggie Jackson.
Or Blake Griffin on James Johnson.