John Krolik on DeMarcus Cousins:
Being able to put the ball in the hoop or the hands of your teammates rather than near the hoop or in the hands of opposing teammates is a very fundamental tenet of effective basketball, and that has been a major problem for DeMarcus Cousins this season. Yet the overwhelming consensus on him seems to be that he's a major, major talent who is a few tweaks away from dominance. He may the least efficient forward in basketball. I would be fine with a"Tyreke was out, DeMarcus is 20, this was a wake-up call season for him, he's still talented" reading of this season, but I seem to see way more "This guy can grab rebounds and hurl the ball in the direction of the basket WITH THE BEST OF THEM! Sure, the shots aren't going in and they're not smart shots to be taking, but he's 20! Just wait until he can drink legally!" I don't really understand it.
Theory: learning what shots to take and passes to make is a skill that comes with experience.
Research: what follows is a list of players at least 6'9 who, in their rookie seasons, had high usage (more than 20 percent), low efficiency (sub-.500 True Shooting) and later became All-Stars.
As it turns out, players get better with age, and shot selection in particular is one of those things that gets better. LeBron James and Scottie Pippen had similar shooting efficiency numbers to Cousins in their rookie seasons.
Research: it's not that hard!