Even Kevin Durant would have to admit that DeMarcus Cousins’ job is markedly more difficult than Clint Capela’s. Whereas Capela simply catches lobs and defends the paint, according to KD, Cousins is a big often stretched thin by the demands of his expansive duties within the New Orleans Pelicans offense. In a Monday night double overtime barnburner against the Chicago Bulls, Cousins put in serious extracurricular work, tallying 44 points, 24 rebounds, 10 assists and four steals in their 132-128 double overtime victory. In the process of taking command of every facet of New Orleans’ offense, he became the first player in 46 years to post a 40-20-10 triple double line.
In a variety of ways, Cousins filled up the bucket and the stat sheet. He shot 5-of-11 from behind the arc, drove to the rim, drained all but one of his 14 free throw attempts and even cooked up his teammates points. Bulls center and human Chia Pet, Robin Lopez tried resorting to the most unconventional of means imaginable to slow down Cousins, but was less effective than roadkill.
Yet, through three and a half quarters, the Bulls appeared to have victory in hand. With five minutes to go in regulation, they led the Pelicans by 17. However, when a typical team would have been throwing in the towels, Boogie happened, scoring 11 of the Pelicans next 15 points.
Ultimately, Cousins, Anthony Davis and Jrue Holiday scored 22 of the Pelicans final 24 points in regulation. Ultimately, Holiday found Davis on the other end of a lob with 19 seconds left to put the Pelicans up by two.
However, on the ensuing possession, Lauri Markhannen banked in a driving runner and knotted the score up at 112. New Orleans went back to the Holiday to Davis connection which resulted in the latter finding Davis streaking to the rim, where he was fouled with 3.2 ticks remaining.
Davis sank both of his free throws until the Pelicans defense would rear its horrifying head. In three seconds, the Bulls matriculated the ball up the floor and Jrue’s brother, Justin, was able to force up a contested 3-pointer from the right corner. His attempt was deflected, but Pelicans forward Darius Miller was whistled for a shooting foul. JustinHoliday was sent to the line, down two and given three pressure-filled shots. After calmly swishing the first two, his third one rimmed out to trigger overtime.
Davis fouled out midway through the first overtime with a ho-hum 34 points, nine rebounds. In the second overtime, Chicago ran out of gas while the Pelicans kept riding Cousins to the finish line. The Bulls starting point guard Kris Dunn sat for the second straight contest since he bounced his face off the hardwood last week. In his stead, Jerian Grant also finished with a double-double, on 22 points and 13 assists, but he was erratic and mistake prone as well.
Cousins recorded the historic numbers, but it was a reminder to the Association of Boogie and The Brow’s potential.
As a tandem, Boogie and The Brow are a force to be reckoned with and the Bulls win was a reminder why. At any time, Boogie and the Brow are pyrokinetic scorers whose shot-making ability can set any arena’s net on ablaze.
Most importantly, the Pelicans have won seven of their last 10, are holding down the sixth seed, which would allow them to avoid Houston or Golden State in the first round of the postseason and are creeping up on fifth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the Western Conference standings. Any suggestion that Cousins will be traded by the deadline or rumors of the Boston Celtics pining for Anthony Davis can likely be shelved with each passing game they ascend over .500.
If the Pelicans can keep up this momentum on the backs of their two frontcourt stars they may have enough momentum to present Cousins with a viable case for tinkering with their experiment and lock him into a long-term deal to remain in the Crescent City.