Be afraid; be very afraid. Two big men brought together by the hands of fate; two big men whose futures may be linked by time and circumstance. Two big men who pair together to form a formidable frontcourt.
All right, release that thought (from Mystery Player A, ranked no. 32 in Part 1). Contrast these 2011-12 numbers …
Mystery Player A: 29.4 MPG, 16.2 PPG, 11.4 RPG, 1.2 APG, 1.2 BPG, 43% FG, 73% FT, 21 PER
Mystery Player B: 32.7 MPG, 16.4 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 2.5 APG, 0.6 BPG, 50% FG, 79% FT, 23 PER
Slight edge to Player B, right?
OK, so let's say Player B is a normal guy … and Player A is an unpredictable loose cannon who may or may not have just gotten his first coach fired a few weeks ago. Now which guy are you taking?
Here's the point: Boogie Cousins gets more hype than Greg Monroe; he got drafted two picks ahead of him; his upside seems like it should be higher; he's more fun to follow; he has a better nickname; and he's always going to seem a little more overpowering when he has it going. In the Grantland headquarters, we've probably had 20 Boogie Cousins conversations and 135 moments where Jay Kang cackled, "I LOVE BOOGIE!!!!" I don't remember anyone discussing Greg Monroe even once. I'm not even sure half our staff knows what he looks like. Just know that Sacramento would flip Boogie for Monroe in a cocaine heartbeat … and if the roles were reversed, Detroit would hang up.
That attitude we heard so much about? Damn right it's there. But it's fire, intensity, and the desire to flat-out destroy his opponent, especially other big men. It's exactly what so many other bigs are lacking, and why they end up a very different kind of bust. Cousins rages because he cares. It's that simple. To say that his personality can be rough or stubborn at times is to say that he's a gamer. Attitude on the court, if it's this kind of edge and determination, is the exact opposite of what off-court attitude will sow.
... but [Cousins is] the most important 2010 rookie. If he makes it -- a big if, but IF he makes it -- that's the home run pick. I like John Wall, but you can count the impact under-30 bigs like Cousins on one hand. And you wouldn't need to use all five fingers. I mean, Andrew Bogut made an All-NBA team last season. So … yeah."
Have to mention Sacramento briefly. DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside? That’s almost unfair. That team has the potential to be very, very good in a few years. Get some shooters to complement Evans and Cousins and they are laughing.