Washington Wizards’ Frontcourt Shows Mettle By Shutting Down DeMarcus Cousins
What seemed like a blowout at one point turned into a fourth-quarter battle. The Sacramento Kings were knocking on the door with a chance to cut it to a five-point game with 1:23 left, but rookie Ben McLemore missed an easy layup. From there, it was pretty much a wrap despite the efforts of Kings point guard Isaiah Thomas who logged 30 points, eight assists and three rebounds.
Other than Thomas, no other King player made much of an impact, including star DeMarcus Cousins. This was seemingly the first game that Cousins has been shut down all season. As for the Washington Wizards, it was an all-around team win as five different players recorded double-figures in points.
It’s certainly an uplifting sign for the franchise since the team has been so inconsistent all season. The final score came in at 93-84 in favor of Washington, who have climbed back to .500 once again.
The biggest story this afternoon is how much of an impact Nene, Kevin Seraphin and Marcin Gortat made defensively. The three were successful in holding Cousins to just 14 points, which is a very difficult achievement. Cousins is arguably the best offensive center in the NBA, so that says a lot about the Washington frontcourt.
The team may have found a three-man rotation moving forward if the trio can prove to play like this on a night-in, night-out basis. Gortat is a free agent at the conclusion of this season, and Washington still has not made a decision on whether he is worth re-signing.
However, tonight may have swayed the Wizards organization more towards re-signing him right now. It is extremely tough to find a frontcourt duo these days that can defend the paint as well as produce offensively. What the team needs to do is extend Gortat’s contract as soon as possible so the focus can be on filling the void at small forward, and possibly competeing next season.