DeMarcus Cousins Comments on Pelicans Debut, Omri Casspi Injury

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2017

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 23: DeMarcus Cousins #0 of the New Orleans Pelicans reacts during the second half of a game against the Houston Rockets at the Smoothie King Center on February 23, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

It took all of one game for the newfound enthusiasm surrounding the New Orleans Pelicans to fade. 

As if a 129-99 loss at the hands of the Houston Rockets wasn't bad enough, the Pelicans learned after Thursday's blowout that the newly acquired Omri Casspi suffered a broken right thumb that's expected to sideline him approximately four weeks, according to the Associated Press (via ESPN.com). 

The good news for the Pelicans was that DeMarcus Cousins thrived in his debut alongside Anthony Davis to the tune of 27 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, five steals and four blocks.

"It was good to get it under my belt, good to get it out of my way," Cousins said of his Big Easy debut, per ESPN.com's Justin Verrier. "It's good to just get back to basketball, finally. I know there was a lot of anticipation coming up to this for the city, for the fans and for myself as well."

Incidentally, the only other player to post at least 27 points, 14 boards, five dimes and five steals in a game this season is Davis, who dropped a team-high 29 points against the Rockets. 

But even though Cousins thrived on an individual level under a bright spotlight, he couldn't help but express sympathy for Casspi, who missed 15 straight games before the All-Star break due to a calf issue. 

"It's unfortunate, man," Cousins said, per Verrier. "My guy can't catch a break. He really can't."

There's bound to be a natural adjustment period for the Pelicans after they added a player of Cousins' magnitude to the mix, so patience will have to prevail if they want to maintain composure over their final 24 regular-season games.

In the meantime, Cousins and Davis should continue to develop chemistry alongside point guard Jrue Holiday, while Solomon Hill is slated for a more sizable role at the 3 with Casspi out. 

Now 12 games below .500 and 2.5 games out of the playoffs, the Pelicans will have to try and string together some wins starting on Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks.  

 

Stats courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com