DeMarcus Cousins was the biggest chip moved before the NBA trading deadline — as he went from his beloved Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans for Buddy Hield and what seemed like a bag of donuts.
And the Cousins buzz was killed quickly, with the all-new Pelicans of Cousins and Anthony Davis getting thrashed, 129-99, against James Harden and the visiting Houston Rockets.
Granted, Cousins there’s a whole lotta newness going on with the Pelicans. And granted, the Rockets are one of the league’s most-improved and fast-rising teams.
So, no one should read too much into one game, right? Right.
“OK, so this wreaking-havoc-on-the-league thing is going to take a little time,” columnist Jeff Duncan wrote in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “No one expected the Pelicans to be a well-oiled machine in DeMarcus Cousins’ debut. But no one expected this either. Cousins (27 points, 14 rebounds) and Davis (29 points, nine rebounds) combined for 56 points and 23 rebounds, but it wasn’t nearly enough to combat an offensive onslaught by the Rockets. The 30-point loss was the Pelicans’ second worst of the season. A Boogie buzzkill to put it mildly.”
Cousins didn’t win much with the Kings. He never made the playoffs. Davis has made it just once — as a No. 8 seed.
But together, they could be a frightening inside force. Eventually, anyway.
Right now, it appears that the two star big men new to find out each other, and their teammates need to figure out how to play alongside them.
And hey, sometimes the worst starts make for great stories in the long run. If so, Cousins and the Pelicans are right on course.