DeMarcus Cousins was benched for the final 10 minutes of regulation and the entire overtime period of the Pelicans’ win over Hornets Saturday night. In fact, Cousins only played 25 minutes total and sat as New Orleans played through Anthony Davis and won the game.
Since acquiring Cousins, the Pelicans had lost six of eight games before their win Saturday night. While Davis was playing 45 minutes, and beasting his way to 46 points and 21 rebounds, Boogie was on the bench after scoring 11 points, grabbing four rebounds and dishing out four assists. Dante Cunningham played nine more minutes than Cousins, Jordan Crawford — who is on a 10-day contract — played two more.
While plus/minus isn’t a perfect stat, Cousins was last on New Orleans with a minus-10 Saturday night. Since his trade to the Pelicans, the team has now won just three games. In the first win, Cousins was suspended. In the second, he fouled out. In the third Saturday night he was benched in the fourth quarter. All of that should tell us something.
Cousins simply isn’t helping the Pelicans win games, in fact, it’s pretty clear he’s holding them back. His shooting numbers are down since the trade (45.2 percent to 42.5 percent on field goals, 35.6 percent down to 30.6 percent) as is his scoring average (27.8 ppg to 22.1), while he’s also turning the ball over more per game (4.0 now, 3.8 in Sacramento) and fouling more (4.4 now, 3.7 in Sacramento). So basically his brief tenure in the Big Easy has been a disaster.
On the day of the Cousins trade, New Orleans was 23-34 and sat 2.5 games out of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Now the Pelicans are 26-40 and 4.5 games back. Cousins hasn’t made things better and New Orleans head coach Alvin Gentry has clearly realized that.