DeMarcus Cousins’ resurgence was a huge story in Game 2, and his presence as a positive force in his 28 minutes of action for the banged up Warriors proved to be pivotal in them evening the series with Toronto.
As the Raptors come to Oakland for Games 3 and 4, Cousins will have to continue to play a key role for Golden State, as they are now without Kevon Looney for the rest of the Finals after he fractured his collarbone. Cousins returned from his torn quad muscle after 45 days of grueling rehab to get back in time for the Finals, and played poorly in just eight minutes of Game 1. Few saw his breakout coming in Game 2, but he was given the start and allowed to have more extended burn, which seemed to get him into a much needed rhythm.
Cousins recently sat down with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols to discuss his return, the injury, and the mental and physical grind of his rehab, noting that early on he was “ready to quit,” but knew he had to clear that mental hurdle of being down as much as any physical challenge.
There are few players in the league that know the difficulty of the mental grind of rehab than Cousins, given that he was out for a year with his Achilles injury. He said then that the toughest thing was staying mentally focused and he reiterated that in this interview about his quad muscle. Cousins also notes that his motivation is partly due to his impending free agency this summer, but more than anything a need to prove to himself that he can come back and compete at the highest level possible.
Game 2 was a great start, as he was huge on the glass, gave them some much needed scoring punch, and, maybe most importantly, he served as another playmaker on offense for others. Going forward, they’ll need that kind of performance from Boogie and, as he said, as long as his mind is ready to do it, his body will follow.