Another Double-Double for DeMarcus Cousins Leads Kings Over Lakers

(Can't wait to use that headline in the regular season or, gulp, the playoffs. /shoots self with tranquilizer gun)

DeMarcus Cousins again dominated in Las Vegas, dropping 19/12 with three assists, two blocks and two steals on the Lakers Tuesday night. Patience was the name of the game, with Boogie reading the defense before reacting on most possessions. Cousins did have turnover problems again (5), though Paul Westphal, sitting in on the broadcast with the great Matt Winer and Steve Smith, noted that at least one travel call was likely a mistake. (It's not like NBA refs don't make bad traveling calls on occasion.) There was one bad outlet pass, but Cousins was largely creating his own offense most of the game. Some mistakes are expected.

The real thing which stood out, beyond Boogie's patience, was that he was the offense. He had 20 field goal attempts, twice as many as Donté Greene, who had the team's second-highest total. In addition, Cousins drew a trip to the line (plus another and-1), had those turnovers and three assists. Boogie had a hand in 40 percent of the Kings' possessions while on the floor. That's a huge, huge amount for any player, and especially a big man. And he delivered, though his shooting efficiency (19 points on 21 shots, 0.9 points a shot) wasn't fantastic. He's ready to soak up possessions, just as Tyreke Evans was ready to soak up possessions last year. Like Reke, Boogie is basically the opposite of "project player." He's ready to play.

The question with the big club -- other than how Cousins will look against Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum instead of Derrick Caracter and Courtney Sims -- is how effective Boogie will be when he isn't taking 20 shots a game. We saw a glimpse in Game 1, where Cousins had a somewhat smaller role. But when you add in Tyreke Evans and Carl Landry, that's a lot of downward pressure on DMC's offensive role. We'll see.

Elsewhere, Hassan Whiteside wasn't as bombastic as in Game 1, with just two blocks and one or two goaltends. Greene was more aggressive, and it showed in the box score (17 points). Omri Casspi took a real backseat to Cousins, Donald Sloan struggled and Sylven Landesberg had a solid performance in the starting role, effectively matching what Ryan Thompson did in Game 1 (13/4 for SL). Westphal said the team's looking at the five VSL guards for potential spots on the roster, even with Sloan signed. Thompson and Landesberg have performed the best; based on the defense Thompson played against Austin Daye Monday, I'd give him the slight edge right now.

Kings.com posted the full audio of Westphal's appearance, as well as audio interviews with Joe Maloof and Carl Landry.

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