Nuggets season in review: DeMarcus Cousins

NBA: Los Angeles Clippers at Denver Nuggets
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Reviewing the 2021-22 season of Nuggets center DeMarcus Cousins, AKA Boogie.

The Story of the Regular Season:

After a brief stint with the Milwaukee Bucks, DeMarcus Cousins arrived in Denver later on in the season. He signed his first 10-day contract with the Nuggets on January 21st and didn’t become a full contract player until February 25th. Boogie proved to still be an impactful player in Denver, the idea that teams considered him a lost cause and that he was waived in the beginning of the season is ridiculous to me. Denver was getting killed anytime Jokić was out of the game, once Boogie got there it was significantly more manageable. While he still would occasionally get a bad whistle and had an extremely short leash with the refs, he gave the Nuggets a solid backbone for the bench unit.

Boogie plays the same way that the reigning two-time MVP, Nikola Jokić, does. Obviously not on the same level but the base of their games are very similar, so when the Joker checks out Denver does not need to change up their offensive game plan and strategy too much. Boogie played a vital role to end this season, without him the Nuggets would have been much worse. He made it so Jokić was ever able to get any rest during a game without blowing the entire lead in the process. Boogie’s season numbers may not jump off the page at you, but his contributions to the Nuggets this year were invaluable.

Best Moment- March 4th vs the Rockets

DeMarcus Cousins had quite a few good moments from the season, but few can compare to his night versus the Houston Rockets on March 4th. This was one of the 2 games he started in place of Nikola Jokić this season. He put up a season-high 31 points with 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and shot 3/4 on three-pointers all in only 23 minutes. This was Boogie’s first 30-point game since January 2018, he scored 44 points in that game shortly before his Achilles injury. This game proved that if he is given the opportunity he can still be a productive NBA player after all these years and injuries.

However in his only other start of the season in a Nuggets uniform, versus the Los Angeles Lakers, came my other favorite moment of the season. After getting a steal and running the break, Boogie gets fouled at the other end by Stanley Johnson. He appears to go down hard after some potential contact to the head, his sole purpose in doing this was to sell the call and get the refs to turn it into a flagrant foul. It worked and we got an amazing video from it.

Season Grade- A-

Compared to what the expectations were for Cousins, I decided to give him a A- for this season. His numbers aren’t crazy and he ultimately didn’t play a ton of minutes or close games, but he filled his role to perfection. Yeah, he might’ve gotten a few technical fouls that he shouldn’t have but it’s all part of the fun of the game. I would give him an A+ on role filling, but because he could’ve shot the ball a little better and put up better stats overall I have to give him a A-. Still an amazing bounce-back season from Boogie, you can’t really ask for a much better backup center.

What Does the Future Hold for DeMarcus Cousins?

As of now, it is pretty uncertain. Cousins’ deal expired at the end of the season so if Denver wants him around next year they will have to negotiate a new contract. It is my belief that Denver wants Boogie back, the only way I can see Boogie not being on the roster next year is if some other team is willing to give him a bigger role. There’s just only so much you can do when you’re sitting behind the reigning back-to-back MVP.

I personally really hope that Boogie is back next season. He gave Denver his all and the fans really gravitated to him. His rapport with Bones Hyland, Michael Malone, and others on the roster is very fun to watch. Only time will tell what the future holds for him, but I will always appreciate what Boogie gave to Denver this last season.

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