Assessing DeMarcus Cousins’ stellar debut with the Milwaukee Bucks

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 01 (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After being brought in by the Milwaukee Bucks over the weekend, DeMarcus Cousins certainly picked a thrilling game to make his team debut.

Cousins took the floor for the first time as a Buck last night in Milwaukee’s 127-125 win over the visiting Charlotte Hornets. The game was a thriller from start to finish, capped off by a sensational game-winner from Giannis Antetokounmpo at the buzzer. While the Greek Freak will get the lion’s share of the attention from the win, and rightfully so, Cousins also played some pretty solid ball in his official Bucks debut as he saw a key role throughout.

How did DeMarcus Cousins look in his first game with the Milwaukee Bucks?

First and foremost, Cousins looked to be in great shape for a player whose last NBA game was all the way back in June. He looked quick, agile, and full of energy on both ends throughout the night, which allowed him to play 14-and-a-half minutes. That was a surprising amount for a player that had very little practice time with the team after landing in town just a day or two earlier, but he did make the most of every minute.

Offensively, Cousins scored seven points on 3-of-5 shooting, including 1-of-2 from behind the arc. On the two baskets he made inside, Cousins maneuvered his way to the rim through defenders as he got a pair of layups to drop. The 3-pointer he made was a significant one as it gave the Bucks a 107-105 lead with 8:50 left to play. The Bucks will never be reliant on the big man to score, but if he can get these baskets inside and hit an occasional 3-pointer just as he did last night, then his fit here will be perfect. Letting it fly from the outside will be crucial for him, and he has shown that he has the confidence to do just that.

While Cousins hit some tough shots for the champs, he also showed off his vision by making some eye-catching passes. He displayed his unselfishness early on by passing up a wide-open 3-pointer to find Grayson Allen in the corner, who buried a triple. Cousins found Allen again shortly after that on what was a beautiful pass, but the guard could not pay it off as he missed the three. Those two could build up a solid connection moving forward if last night was any indicator. Although Cousins finished with just one assist, he showed that he will be unselfish with the basketball and make the right play offensively, as he did on numerous occasions in his debut.

Cousins also showed that he will help in the rebounding department as he pulled down four in last night’s matchup. The Bucks have been solid on the glass this season as they are currently tied first in rebounds per game with 47.4, and Cousins will provide another big body to help them grab their share of boards nightly. This will be crucial as the Bucks are currently without Brook Lopez and one of their good rebounders in Semi Ojeleye. When Antetokounmpo or Bobby Portis needs a breather, Cousins will give the Bucks someone that will not sacrifice the rebounding ability on the floor.

Overall, it was a stellar debut for Cousins. To top it all off, he finished with a +/- of +9 on the night, tied for the best on the team with George Hill. He did all of the little things with his facilitating, his rebounding, and a few big shots to help the Bucks win this game. Hopefully this is truly just the beginning and Cousins can keep it up.

Next. Grading DeMarcus Cousins’ one-year deal with the Milwaukee Bucks. dark

The signing already looks like it will pay major dividends for the reigning champs.