- Matt Staub
- Staff Writer
There were some big moves made this year during the NBA trade deadline.
The biggest move was the unexpected trade of center DeMarcus Cousins from the Sacramento Kings to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The addition gives the Pelicans two of the best young players in the league in Cousins and Anthony Davis.
Pairing two of the league’s premier big men has proven to be troublesome so far, though, as the Pelicans have gone 0-3 since adding Cousins.
This does not mean that the two can’t play together; they just need more time to adapt and learn how to do so.
Earlier this season, we saw how the Golden State Warriors had some struggles adapting to their new superstar, Kevin Durant.
The Pelicans will need to find some success with Cousins and Davis this season if they want to re-sign Cousins in the future.
Cousins previously stated that he would not sign an extension with a team if he were traded from the Kings.
On Tuesday night, Durant suffered a knee injury that left his team and the crowd in silence. Durant sprained his left MCL and bruised the bone in his left leg.
He is listed as out indefinitely, but he should be able to return in time for the playoffs.
Durant is leading his team in scoring with 25.3 points per game. The Warriors’ other stars will need to pick up the slack in Durant’s absence.
Both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are averaging more than 21 points per game this season.
However, Curry has been in somewhat of a shooting slump of late. The main player needed to step up for the Warriors is Draymond Green.
Green has not been asked to score as much this season with the addition of Durant.
Green, as evidenced by last season’s NBA Finals, is more than capable of being an effective scorer.
The Warriors should be able to hold off the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets to retain the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs.
Durant was added to give the Warriors an edge over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who pulled off one of the biggest comebacks in NBA history last season after finding themselves in a 3-1 series deficit in the NBA Finals.
The Cavaliers were able to add some solid veterans at the trade deadline, as well.
They signed former All-Star point guard Deron Williams after the Dallas Mavericks waived him. Andrew Bogut, also formerly of Dallas, has committed to signing with the Cavaliers once he clears waivers. Bogut was an important part of the Warriors team that went 73-9 last season.
Williams will provide a solid veteran presence off the bench and could be the type of playmaker LeBron James has been asking for.
It is important to watch how all these new acquisitions fit in with their new teams. It’s good to be playing well near the end of the regular season, as that momentum can be carried into the playoffs.
Chasing the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference standings are the Boston Celtics, led by point guard Isaiah Thomas.
Thomas and the Celtics played host to Cleveland on Wednesday night and came out on top, 103-99.
Look for the race between these two to heat up down the stretch.