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Should we read anything into a victory without DeMarcus Cousins?

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As always we have more questions than answers

NBA: Indiana Pacers at Sacramento Kings Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

The Sacramento Kings are built around DeMarcus Cousins. Historically, the team has struggled to win any time Cousins misses a game due to injury or suspension. Because of this, it was natural to assume that the Kings would lose Wednesday night’s game to the Boston Celtics. Instead, the Kings won in convincing fashion, and I’m still trying to figure out what propelled the Kings to victory.

The big question of course is whether addition by subtraction helped the Kings. Are the Kings better off without DeMarcus Cousins? It’s a natural question, one we’ve debated endlessly around here. And while it would be easy to dismiss this with the basic logic that playing without an All-Star doesn’t improve your team, I couldn’t help but notice the differences cited by the team.

From the Bee’s Jason Jones:

“Today I thought we played with a purpose,” Collison said. “The ball was moving, we played with so much pace today. We were getting up and down, it was good to see our bench react to Willie’s dunk. So guys are having fun right now. If we continue to play like that we should be all right.”

That could just be standard glowing-after-a-win talk. And I certainly don’t think any of the players were purposefully taking digs at DeMarcus. But nearly every comment I heard from the players was about how they played together, moved the ball, and played hard defense. Even as a long-time supporter of Boogie, I couldn’t help but notice that the team excelled in the areas they’ve struggled to excel in with Cousins on the floor.

This isn’t a “trade DeMarcus” call from me. Who knows, this could have been a fluke event, a random aberration that happens throughout any given season. Maybe the Celtics just overlooked the Kings without DeMarcus. But there’s no denying that the team looked different, and not in a bad way, without their star player. Not better, not worse, just...different.

I’m not sure what to make of it all. Perhaps I’m making something out of nothing. What do you think?