DeMarcus Cousins, who has been out of action since tearing his left quadriceps muscle while diving for a lose ball in Game 2 of the Warriors opening playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers, will officially be active for Game 1 of the NBA Finals, as Steve Kerr made known on Thursday.
Cousins appeared in 30 regular season games for the Warriors after returning from the torn Achilles he suffered the previous season as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans. He averaged 16.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game while playing 25.7 minutes a night.
“I believe (the Finals) is the stage that every basketball player as a kid growing up dreams of,” Cousins told the media during a session on Wednesday. “To be here is a huge honor and it’s an incredible feeling, so I’m extremely excited about it and it makes me that much more antsy to get on the floor and help my team. If that opportunity is presented to me, I plan on taking full advantage of it.”
How much playing time Cousins will see, and how prepared he is to be parachuted into an NBA Finals, remains to be seen. Both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol could prove tough covers for Cousins with their shooting ability, while Cousins already had issues defending the pick-and-roll during the regular season. Where his health and conditioning are at will play a big factor in the type of impact he can have during the Finals.