Jan. 3, 2010WARRIORS PAGE
Sunday was supposed to be a day off, and it was for MontaEllis and Corey Maggette.But coach Don Nelson put the rest of the Warriors through atwo-hour grind the day after his team got beat 105-89 by the Blazers inPortland. Nelson said he had originally planned to give the team off butchanged his mind after watching it score 41 points in the first quarter, thenget handled the rest of the way.They deserved it, Nelson said. We needed to get some workdone. We needed to do what we did. There was some slippage.When asked about rookie Stephen Curry, Nelson responded:Gotta toughen up. They all do. Theyre too soft. Gotta toughen up. And ourcenters are back now. Its time for them to step up.Nelson said he gave Ellis and Maggette the day off becausetheyd been playing a lot of minutes and he didnt want them dinged up. Nine other Warriors participated in a practice solelydevoted to defense, according to Nelson.The perimeter players Curry, Anthony Morrow, C.J. Watson,Devean George and Vladimir Radmanovic (who later joined the bigger players) --spent almost all of the practice defending post-ups and closing out on shooters.The big men Andris Biedrins, Ronny Turiaf, Chris Hunterand Anthony Randolph spent all of their time on interior defense,particularly defending the rim and help and recover.After the loss to Portland, Nelson specifically called outhis smalls, saying theyd had a terrible performance. On Sunday, Nelsonsaid he also needed more out of Biedrins and Turiaf, both of whom have recentlyreturned from injury.I thought the bigs needed the work that they did on bothends, and we worked them hard, said Nelson. Its time for them to knowtheyre not going to get reinjured. Put the injury behind them and startplaying up to their potential.Weve given them a few days, a few games. I dont need itto take two weeks to get done. They need to step up and do it now.First chance comes Tuesday night when the Warriors play theNuggets in Denver.
Nelson also made a point of saying he should have had abigger player defending Andre Miller, who finished with 23 points.If I had it to do over again, I would have played a big onhim, Nelson said. Not necessarily Randolph, but probably should have playedCorey on him and that would have taken one post-up away.Our smalls couldnt guard him. Radmanovic (was) anotherguy that could have guarded him. And I put Morrow on him and he just couldnthandle him.
DeMarcus Cousins leads the NBA in technical fouls. He also leads the league in scowls and he’s even kicked over a few garbage cans following the Kings' loss to the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. But that’s just a small portion of who he is.
According to a source that travels with the team, Cousins went out of his way Sunday morning to make an impact in the lives of a couple of local youth in Chicago.
Kids were selling chocolate bars outside the team’s hotel trying to earn money for charity. Plenty of people walked by, avoiding the youth, but Cousins stopped, reached into his pocket and purchased all of the boxes they had to sell.
Later on in the day, Cousins donated the candy to the flight service staff for use on the flight to Detroit.
Cousins gets plenty of negative press for his antics on the floor, but off the court, he is extremely generous. He plays Santa-Cuz during the holidays, buying gifts for underprivileged children in Sacramento and his hometown of Mobile, Alabama. He has also purchased a new scoreboard for a local high school and even paid for the funeral of a local high school football player who lost his life in a drive-by shooting.
No one is perfect, Cousins included, but he also has a genuinely good side that he often doesn’t seek or receive press for.
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.
On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.
Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.
Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”
Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.
Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.
Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.
Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.
If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.