- DeMarcus Cousins will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his Achilles on Friday.
- The news is brutal for the Pelicans, who after climbing to sixth in the West and winning nine of their last 12 games, will be without their All-Star center.
- The injury could impact Cousins as he enters free agency this offseason.
The New Orleans Pelicans will be without one of their star big men for the remainder of the season.
On Friday, Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins tore his left Achilles tendon late in a win over the Houston Rockets. He will miss the remainder of the season.
The play came after Cousins all but sealed the game for the Pelicans, grabbing an offensive rebound and laying it in while he got fouled to put the Pelicans up four. Cousins then missed the free throw, and as he went for the rebound, appeared to step awkwardly and fell gingerly for the floor. He later had to be helped off the court.
Here’s the play:
Cousins has put together a monster season for the 27-21 Pelicans, who have climbed to sixth in the Western Conference and are 9-3 in January. Cousins is averaging 25 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists, and over a steal and block per game while shooting 35% from three. He was recently named to the All-Star team alongside Pelicans big man Anthony Davis.
Cousins and Davis have been a dynamic duo this season, bucking the trend of teams going smaller across all positions. Cousins’ passing and shooting has helped the Pelicans find room to operate with two big men, and with Cousins and Davis sharing the floor, the Pelicans have outscored teams by four points per 100 possessions.
On a fairly shallow team, the Pelicans will now have to make Davis the focal point of their offense, and they’ll have to scrape together points to replace Cousins’ nightly average.
The timing is also brutal for Cousins, as he’s in a contract year. Cousins’ impending free agency has been one of the more intriguing cases in the NBA, as he’s a star in the prime of his career. It’s been unclear if he would stay with the Pelicans to continue their big-man experiment or if he would flea to another team. Now, coming off an Achilles injury, his market may be reduced, as teams are wary of players recovering from the injury.