At the New Orleans Pelicans end of season presser, Alvin Gentry remarked DeMarcus Cousins getting in better physical condition before the start of the 2017-18 season needed to be on the to-do list.
There is no denying he looks svelter to the eye, but what’s more important than any scale reading is Cousins being able to handle the Pelicans quick pace of play. Too many times onlookers noted Boogie lagging behind game action, getting back on defense too slowly or seemingly just crossing the half court line with the offense already on the attack.
Cousins was shut down for the final week of the regular season with Achilles tendinitis, but later Dell Demps divulged that Boogie had been dealing with the same issue since his trade to New Orleans. In other words, Cousins was never 100% healthy at anytime in a Pelicans uniform, yet he still managed to post averages of over 24 points and 12 rebounds a game.
Being healthy at the start of next season will be key, but Cousins is dedicated to far surpassing that bar. Earlier this month, the New Orleans general manager appeared on Prime Time Sports with Scott Alexander and had this to say about the big man.
“He’s committed to the group,” said Demps. “He’s working out right now. He’s consistently asking questions. He wants to be a part of it — He’s in.”
Here's a little preview of week 1 offseason workouts with @boogiecousins @jcousins15 and fitness trainer @amoila_cesar. Grateful to be involved with the process for these guys. Life is all about the process. If we don't enjoy the process the end goal can be non existent. My favorite part is these are the best athletes in the world and they still have to overcome obstacles. Don't be afraid to fail. || FULL TRAINING VIDEO COMING SOON || #blessandsee #nba #basketball #neworleanspelicans #demarcuscousins #jaleelcousins #fitness #squat #fitnessmotivation #l4l #f4f
This looks like a great workout and I can’t wait for the release of the full training video in the near future, but the promise of a more agile Cousins is the biggest takeaway. Newly hired assistant coach Chris Finch went on record yesterday to Jim Eichenhofer in comparing Cousins to Nikola Jokic.
That certainly sets the tone, when you have Nikola Jokic as an elite-level passer, just like I believe DeMarcus Cousins is. The opportunity to run the offense through (Jokic) at the top of the floor – once we got over the learning phase after 20 games, which often happens as guys try to figure out their roles – things really took off.
Make no mistake, the Pelicans are going to run a lot of their offense at the top of the arc through Cousins much like the Denver Nuggets successfully did with Jokic this past season. It sure looks like Boogie is well on his way to meeting the demands of that responsibility.