Warriors News: DeMarcus Cousins' Minutes Limit to Be Lifted After All-Star Break

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorFebruary 21, 2019

Golden State Warriors' DeMarcus Cousins (0) drives past Miami Heat forward James Johnson during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
Ben Margot/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins will see his minutes increase after the All-Star break, per head coach Steve Kerr

"It just depends," Kerr said Wednesday via Nick Friedell of ESPN.

"We'll see how the games go. I don't think we'll change the plan too much in terms of how we're going to play him in the rotations and all that, but I think once we get back into the rhythm we can absolutely play him for longer stretches, play him down the stretch [if] we like."

Cousins suffered a ruptured Achilles as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans in January 2018 and signed a one-year deal with the Golden State Warriors in the 2018 offseason. He made his Dubs debut on January 19.

The 28-year-old big man has averaged 13.9 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 23.4 minutes per game, and Golden State has gone 10-1 in contests Cousins has played in this year.

Cousins' minutes have gone up recently, as he accrued a season-high 28 in a Feb. 12 win against the Utah Jazz

Kerr also provided comments about Cousins' last few games in addition to looking ahead at the rest of the regular-season schedule:

"I thought the last few games he just looked a little tired, which is to be expected. We were a good month into his recovery or into his return I should say. And the first few weeks he shot the ball a lot better than he did the last few games, so I thought he maybe looked a little fatigued. So I'm hoping the break helps him out and he's able to come back and start shooting the ball a little bit better. I'm sure he will; that's what his track record suggests. And then for the whole team we got 25 games left, so find a rhythm for himself individually, but continue to work on his rhythm with his teammates."

The Warriors have a few luxuries in regards to Cousins down the stretch.

First, they could run away with the Western Conference crown, making a chunk of the regular season a mere formality. Golden State is two games ahead of the Denver Nuggets in the standings and four in front of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

A late-winter streak could put the Warriors in the clear, which could enable them to give Cousins some more rest without worrying about being at full strength to keep the No. 1 seed.

Second, the Warriors don't have a particularly tough slate down the stretch. Per Tankathon, Golden State has a No. 14 strength of schedule, with games against the tanking Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns waiting.

The Warriors are well-versed at crushing teams without a star player or two. With all due respect to Cousins, who is making a tremendous return, the Warriors may not need his services for a few games.

Ultimately, Cousins' workload down the stretch shouldn't be the problem. The key is for him to be at his best for the playoffs, which don't start for two months.

Golden State begins the second half of its season on Thursday at home versus the Sacramento Kings.

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