When the Dallas Mavericks heard that star center DeMarcus Cousins was sitting out for his fifth straight game due to a sprained left ankle, they probably figured they were in for a cakewalk. However that was not the case as the Sacramento Kings competed to the very end as they fell to Dallas 107-103. Rudy Gay and Dirk Nowitzki went back and forth all game with a myriad of impressive shots. Nowitzki ended the game with a line of 35 points, five rebounds, and tw0 assists, while Gay matched his 35 points while also logging 12 rebounds, and six assists.
Although they suffered another tough loss Sacramento proved that they can at least stay competitive without Cousins. This is mainly due to the play of Gay. In the years that Cousins has been a member of the Kings, he has always been expected to carry the load. Even though he is fully capable of putting the team on his back and willing them to wins, it is a lot to expect of such a young player. Prior to the trade, Cousins was expected to both be the leader on and off the court.
Since being paired up with Cousins, Gay has helped the Kings log a solid 9-12 record. To a playoff team like the Mavericks such a record would not be acceptable, but considering that this is the Kings, the record shows that they are improving. Unfortunately, since Cousins went down, the Kings are now 0-5. Hopefully, the injury does not affect the chemistry that the duo has built since teaming up.
Gay has certainly been more efficient as Cousins has been able to take some of the scoring load off, something that he was heavily relied on for in Toronto. He has perhaps finally found the right team after bouncing around for the last few years. It has been a long time since Sacramento was a true contender. They have been stuck in mediocrity really since the Chris Webber era ended. The Gay trade was without a doubt a homerun of a trade. If the two can continue to the stellar play, they may be able to boost themselves into playoff contention in the future. Of course they have a very long way to go but with another high draft pick possibly coming their way, they have the ability to improve the roster even further.