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Report: Warriors’ DeMarcus Cousins only needs conditioning to take the floor

DeMarcus Cousins, Warriors

Those who have watched Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins take the floor for five-on-five drills this month have walked away impressed at the effectiveness of his recovery. The All-Star big man was seen handling the ball, running and throwing down dunks with ease off his injured left foot after having suffered a torn Achilles tendon in February as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle gave some good insight into his playing shape, not only encouraged but with a strong belief that he could take the court now if necessary.

After the Warriors’ practice Sunday afternoon at Detroit Mercy, I watched for about 20 minutes as Cousins participated in a 5-on-5 scrimmage. My biggest takeaway was that, if it were the playoffs, he could play now and contribute. He was throwing down alley-oop dunks and moving with relative ease. At this point, Cousins just needs to improve his conditioning a bit to be completely game-ready.

The Warriors will be utmost careful with his complete recovery, ensuring he’s at no risk of re-injury or hurting himself due to lack of conditioning.

Cousins has been doing on-court work and hitting the gym as well, but nothing replaces being in game shape like long scrimmages, something this veteran team doesn’t have much of due to the amount of veteran players with plenty of mileage on their legs.

DeMarcus Cousins’ return should fetch not only a promising contract for him once he hits free agency at the end of the season, but also put the Warriors at a whole other level if they manage to stay fully healthy entering the postseason.