DeMarcus Cousins on coming off Rockets’ bench behind Christian Wood
The Houston Rockets’ transition from general managers Daryl Morey to Rafael Stone and head coaches Mike D’Antoni to Stephen Silas has already evoked a philosophical change.
Morey and D’Antoni fully bought into the “small ball” concept last season, essentially playing without a center after trading Clint Capela at the February deadline.
But the new regime has taken a different approach. The Rockets signed talented big Christian Wood in free agency—and also agreed to terms with veteran center DeMarcus Cousins.
Cousins was regarded as one of the best bigs in the game before injuries altered the course of his career. Now, it appears he is accepting his role as a mentor to the younger Wood:
“I’m here to help C Wood get better every single day,” Cousins said, via Tim MacMahon of ESPN. “He’s been a sponge since he stepped into the building, and you can’t ask for anything more coming from a young player.”
“Boogie” also said he would be comfortable coming off the bench, noting he will do whatever the Rockets need from him:
“If my name is called to be a sixth man coming off the bench, I’ll do my job,” Cousins said, via MacMahon. “My concern is making sure everybody in this locker room is together, coming in ready to work every single day.”
Cousins is indeed likely to come off the bench.
Wood’s market skyrocketed after the Detroit Pistons installed him in the starting lineup at the end of the year. He averaged 19.3 points and 9.0 rebounds after starting six of 11 games in February, then averaged 26.6 points and 9.4 rebounds in five March starts.
The Rockets are likely to give Wood an extended look in the starting lineup, while a bench role will allow Cousins to gradually work his way back from the knee injury suffered last year.
Boogie seems more than prepared for that role.