Hello, all. For those of you that don't know me (almost everyone), I'm Donovan Jeska (@Magnego on Twitter; if you're there, I've probably mentioned you at some point). I've been a lurker here at STR for some of the 2009-2010 season and all of the 2010-2011 season. And I'm...a reformed [REDACTED] Fan. The Kings have always been a big part of my existence here in Woodland, CA--there's not a whole lot else to do in this podunk little town--so I've always at least known how they were doing, even if I was watching those other guys at the time. My favorite player (period, not just on the Kings) at the moment is
Jimmer Fredette Demarcus Cousins, whom I believe has the talent and the personality to be an All-Star in this league. I also love to write. I've been doing so for well over a decade and a half (I'm 24), but have had a dry-spell in the past year or so.
So, in an effort to get myself back into the game, I've decided to combine all of the above things into this series of Fanposts, titled "Boogie Nights." I'll focus in-depth (in-depth for a casual fan, not a stats junkie), on each part of Cousins' game on any particular night, trying to determine if he's made progress in each area since last year. Let me re-emphasize that; this is one man's subjective opinion of the progress of one player on the Kings. While advanced stats and such certainly help objectively, I'm doing this purely on how I feel about Cousins' game. That said, I might throw some stats in there because I, personally am a numbers guy.
I'll be covering the following topics; be aware, though, that this is likely to change over the course of the season.
The Story Thus Far: I'll recap Cousins' Season, and maybe give a couple insights based on trends that I notice.
This Time Last Year: What it says; taking a look back at Cousins at this time last year, and seeing where he's improving (or not).
Stat Line: Cousins' Stats for the night. Likely copied and pasted from a reputable site.
Defense: This is a pretty large area to examine (contrary to what many people say, labeling someone a "bad" defender doesn't mean they're bad at every aspect of defense--same with labeling someone a "good" defender), so I'll break it down.
- Man Defense: On the ball defense. How well is Cousins faring on a one-on-one basis? I'll probably touch on the difference between his Post Defense and his Face Up Defense, too.
- Help Defense: Off the ball defense. How well is Cuz faring in providing help against penetrating guards, weak-side help, and denying opposing Bigs the ball?
- PnR Defense: How well is he doing against the Pick n' Roll? Is he switching at the right time? When he does, is he getting burned? When he doesn't, does it end poorly for him (and the team)? When he doesn't switch, is he defending the Big properly?
- Steals: Mostly observations based on his numerical Steals tally for the night, but I'll occasionally comment on good attempts or bad gambles as well.
- Taking Charges: To me, one of the things Cousins does extremely well for a big man. I wouldn't be surprised to see him average at least one charge drawn per game this season; which is a big deal, since it results in a lost possession for the other team and a foul on an opposing player. I'm a big supporter of tracking this stat officially (or at least by Basketball Reference and the like), if you couldn't tell.
- Blocks: Simple--analyzing blocks and blocks attempted. To expand on the category, though, I'll probably throw in any observations about altering shot path and generally being a presence in the paint.
- Transition: Is he running the floor? Getting back on D? This was a huge area to improve on last season; let's see if Cousins' new body performs as well at it looks.
- Defensive Rebounding: Fairly obvious. Is he still a beast on the boards? Establishing good position? Boxing out?
- Post Play: Is Cousins establishing deep post position, or giving up and settling for perimeter play (Note: this is when it's expected of him. In the one preseason game he played this season, it looked like the Kings were trying to get him into the high post and utilize his passing more. If he's doing that, he's obviously not trying to get into the post)?
- Jump Shots: Too many? Too few (heh)? How's his stroke looking?
- Drawing Fouls: Is he going hard to the paint and getting to the line?
- Free Throws: Once there, is he converting?
- Offensive Rebounding: See Defensive Rebounding, but on Offense.
- PnR Offense: Is he setting good screens? Rolling to the hoop/popping to the perimeter? Converting well once there?
- Passing: I'm really ecstatic about this facet of Cousins' game this year. The Next Vlade Divac or the Next Darko Milicic? Turnover prone or 6'11" Point Guard? We'll see.
- Turnovers: Another area of improvement from last year. Will Big Cuz make better decisions on both ends of the floor?
- Complaining: Let's see if Cousins will stop making comments to the Refs and, if he does, how it affects the calls they give him.
- Body Language: Awwwww, Pouty Lil' Cuz...let's hope those days are slowly becoming a thing of the past. I'll examine how I think his body language has change dfrom last year, and whether it's having a positive impact on his game.
- Fouls: To me, this is more mental than anything. Having the clarity of thought to stand tall and straight against and an attacking player or refuse to take the bait on an up-fake is indicative of an intelligent, clever player. Same goes for not barreling into three opposing players and not backing in too hard in the post. Is Cousins that guy? He wasn't last year.
Overall Progress: How's he doing this season, so far?
In Sum: Parting thoughts.
Next Time, on Boogie Nights: Preview of next game.
Go Kings. (a given, as always)
...and that's that. Please, feel free to give me some criticism in the comments. I have plenty of time to change up the format of the piece and re-arrange things as necessary. I love constructive criticism, and promise not to take it personally. That said, I do have a tendency to defend my position if I did things for a specific reason; so while I won't take it personally, I will defend my points.
Thanks for reading!