DeMarcus Cousins gave his sentiments after coach Alvin Gentry decided to bench him in the fourth quarter and the overtime period of the New Orleans Pelicans’ 125-122 victory against the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday night. “Boogie” claimed that he wasn’t upset and understood his coach’s decision.
“The team was in a good rhythm,” Cousins said Monday. “They were playing a good stretch of basketball. I wasn’t mad at all. We pulled out a good win. I’m not mad at all. It’s just how it played out. Coach made a decision. It is what it is. My job is just to go out there when my name is called. It wasn’t, so I was a cheerleader from the bench.”
The arrival of DeMarcus Cousins in New Orleans created a hope that the Pelicans are in a strong position to compete in the playoffs this season. Boogie” continues to show impressive performance, averaging 20.8 points, 12.3 rebounds, and 3.8 assists in his first eight games in New Orleans. Unfortunately, Cousins struggled to make himself fit with the Pelicans, especially playing alongside Anthony Davis.
Since the blockbuster trade, the Pelicans are 2-6. With the hope of ending their struggle, coach Alvin Gentry decided to make a change in their Saturday game against the Charlotte Hornets. DeMarcus Cousins only played for 25 minutes and sat down in the fourth quarter and in the overtime period.
His strategy paid off as the Pelicans returned to the winning column. In their win over the Hornets, Anthony Davis posted 46 points, 21 rebounds, three assists, and one block. When Cousins was out, Davis managed to shot 10-for-17 from the floor where he scored 26 points.
Alvin Gentry reveals the reasons why he benched DeMarcus Cousins
With the lack of a talented big man, coach Alvin Gentry decided to make Anthony Davis as his starting center. Davis played his first four NBA seasons as a power forward in which he’s more comfortable. The move proved to be effective as it helped the Pelicans win in some of their games.
However, matching Davis against the toughest centers in the league would be quite risky since he’s their star player. With the arrival of DeMarcus Cousins, the Pelicans expected everything to be smooth but that didn’t happen in actual games. Their recent struggle forced them to stick to their earlier strategy in order to keep their playoffs hope alive.
“It was just simply a situation where they had a small team out there, they had a tough matchup with AD, we were creating space, guys were making a few shots. So we just decided to go with that group,” Gentry said. “That’s all it was. It wasn’t anything deep or thoughtful, or anything about it. It was just how the game had gone.”
Gentry admitted that his decision will always be based on the players’ performance each game. If Cousins managed to build a good chemistry with Davis in the succeeding games, there is a higher chance that Gentry will give him his full trust in crucial situations.
Photo courtesy: Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
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