Those who are big fans of basketball are well aware that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school team, only for him to persevere and become potentially the greatest athlete of all time. And while he’s no MJ, but DeMarcus Cousins may have that same mindset for the rest of the 2014 season after being passed up for the All-Star game.
Boogie gonna Boogie, folks.
And before we begin, can I say that whoever provided Cousins with that nickname is a god because it’s awesome. And like his nickname, so is Cousins. In 43 games this year, Cousins is averaging 22.9 points (9th-most), 11.7 rebounds (5th-most) and 1.2 blocks per contest (20th). He is currently the number five overall center on ESPN’s Player Rater, but you’d be hard-pressed to find many centers playing at a higher level than Cousins right now, despite the All-Star snub. His 31 double-doubles ranks 5th in all of basketball, ahead of guys like Blake Griffin and the man that received the final All-Star spot, Anthony Davis. Boogie has been as dominant a center in basketball this year, resulting in a plethora of fantasy points.
So, how has he been doing it?
Opportunity + Volume = Success
I hate, hate math, but even I can understand the above formula. Mainly because it’s common sense, so yay me. But if a guy is playing plenty of minutes and is touching the ball significantly, they will obviously have better chances of posting strong fantasy numbers. Please, please. Hold your applause. Let’s take a look at the numbers, shall we? Of course, for a center, rebounding is key. It’s what fantasy owners want the most out of their big men, and Cousins clearly hasn’t let them down, ranking 5th in the game in that department. It helps that he’s just a physical specimen, of course, but Cousins is also seeing 17.4 rebounding chances per game, which is the 8th-most in basketball this season. And 7.8 of those 11.9 boards per game have come uncontested, which means he is using his strength to get better positioning on the glass. However, Cousins is also scoring. Last season, no one in basketball averaged 20 and 10, but this season, it appears to be far more common, Cousins being one of those players. On the season, Boogie is averaging a healthy 6.4 close touches per game, which are looks that originate within 12 feet of the basket. That numbers ranks 7th-most in the NBA, and when you get a guy that talented and athletic to get that many looks close to the basket, he’s going to score, and he’s going to score quite a bit.
You figure that a dominant presence in the paint would be fouled quite a bit, right?
On the season, Cousins is averaging a very healthy 8.9 free throw attempts per game, which is good for the third-most in all of basketball. He is sinking a solid 6.4 foul shots per game, which is great to see from an elite fantasy center. He has an outside touch, sure, but when he needs to dominate inside, he is having his way often. He’s taken a total 384 free throws this year, the 5th-most among anyone in the league. It’s been a huge part of his strong statistics this year, as teams simply can’t handle him down low, but then he is also converting from the stripe. And he’s getting plenty of opportunity at the line, as Kings opponents are posting the fourth-most fouls per game this year (22.7).
Boogie Cousins is here to stay, and don’t be surprised if he embarks on a mission to prove that he deserved that All-Star spot.
Fantasy numbers will ensue. Tons of fantasy numbers.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.