DeMarcus Cousins Better in One Area Than Warriors Coaches Had Thought

Programming note: Watch the Warriors take on the Heat tonight at 4:30 p.m. PT, streaming live on the MyTeams app.

Last season with the Pelicans, DeMarcus Cousins averaged a career-high 5.4 assists.

When the Warriors signed the big man in July, they knew they were adding a player who could create plays for others and make the guys around him better.

So while the Golden State coaches want Cousins to look to score when he gets the ball on the block, they don't want him to forget about dishing the rock.

"We want him to be a little bit more aggressive, but what we found out as time has gone along is he's a better passer than what we thought," assistant coach Mike Brown said on 95.7 The Game. "With his ability to pass, we've actually thrown him the ball in certain spots on the floor for him to facilitate and play-make.

"Now he's taking his big away from the rim and there's small guys that are protecting the rim on the backside. Not only is he a tremendous passer, but he's a willing passer too."

Cousins is averaging 3.5 assists this season, but his "per-36 minutes" total is 5.2 per contest.

When he is on the court at the beginning of the second and fourth quarters, the offense runs through him more. It's similar to how Golden State used a recently retired big man last season.

"If you think back to when David West was playing with that second unit, for the most part when we gave the ball to David -- whether it was on the perimeter, at the elbow or on the block -- it was for him to facilitate," Brown explained.

And speaking of Mr. West:

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Unfortunately, you won't be able to see Cousins make plays like this tonight in Miami because the Warriors are resting him on the front end of their back-to-back.

He is expected to be back in uniform on Thursday night at the Magic.

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