Answering the massive questions after DeMarcus Cousins' damage

Answering the massive questions after DeMarcus Cousins' damage”

Cousins suffered the injury in the final seconds of New Orleans' 115-113 victory over the Houston Rockets while trying to track down an offensive rebound.

The other key issue is adding Cousins before last year's trade deadline meant Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry was able to nearly always keep at least one All-Star big man on the court at any given time. Cousins was recently voted in as a starter for the forthcoming All-Star game in Los Angeles. Cousins is due to be an unrestricted free agent this summer for the first time in his career, and was due to be one of a handful of players certain to receive a max contract offer.

Boogie has formed the lethal frontcourt duo with Anthony Davis that the Pelicans hoped for, which made New Orleans a very risky team in the Western Conference. It remains to be seen whether Cousins will be able to team with Davis again for the next two meetings. Right now, though, don't expect New Orleans to throw in the towel just yet. With just over half of the season left, there has been a lot going on.

Sources indicated the team expected the MRI to reveal a tear, which would cost Cousins the remainder of the season. The Pelicans won, 115-113, but at the cost of DeMarcus Cousins now being out for the season after tearing his Achilles.

Of course, neither projection factors in Cousins' injury, which will surely hurt the Pelicans' chances.

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Chris Paul scored 38 points before fouling out in the final seconds and almost led Houston back from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit. I believe that they will still make the playoffs.

It's not to say that DeMarcus Cousins will never be the same player; it's just to say that there's no guarantee.

Turned loose by in a wide-open offense, Cousins has posted video game stats all season long, tallying three 40/20 games, three triple-doubles and eye-popping averages of 25.4 PPG, 12.9 RPG, 5.2 APG, 1.6 SPG and 1.6 BPG.

There's no overstating Cousins' central role in the Pelicans' surprisingly strong season and there should be no overstating how dramatically his absence will negatively impact his team's fortunes. After all, since the start of the new year the Pelicans were playing tremendous basketball. Using his 30-pound weight advantage, Cousins often overpowered Houston center, including a crucial putback while drawing a foul with 15 seconds remaining.

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