Programming note: Watch the Warriors take on the Heat tonight at 4:30 PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.
DeMarcus Cousins averaged a career-high 5.4 assists last season with the Pelicans, so when the Warriors signed the big man in July, they knew he could create plays for others and make the guys around him better.
So while Golden State coaches want Cousins to look to score when he gets the ball on the block, they don't want him to forget about dishing the rock, either.
"We want him to be a little bit more aggressive, but what we found out as time has gone along is he's a better passer than what we thought," Warriors assistant coach Mike Brown said Wednesday on 95.7 The Game. "With his ability to pass, we've actually thrown him the ball in certain spots on the floor for him to facilitate and play-make.
"Now he's taking his big away from the rim and there's small guys that are protecting the rim on the backside. Not only is he a tremendous passer, but he's a willing passer, too."
Cousins is averaging 3.5 assists this season, but his "per-36 minutes" total is 5.2 per contest.
When Cousins is on the court at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters, the offense runs through him more. It's similar to how Golden State used a recently retired big man last season.
"If you think back to when David West was playing with that second unit, for the most part when we gave the ball to David -- whether it was on the perimeter, at the elbow or on the block -- it was for him to facilitate," Brown explained.
And speaking of Mr. West:
DeMarcus Cousins getting his David West on with this beautiful bounce pass to Draymond for the dunk pic.twitter.com/pgiXMnBA3d— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) February 27, 2019
Unfortunately, you won't be able to see Cousins make plays like this Wednesday in Miami because the Warriors are resting him on the front end of their back-to-back. He is expected to be back in uniform Thursday night in Orlando.
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