Sportress of Blogitude

Steve Kerr: DeMarcus Cousins to start seeing increased workload

The Golden State Warriors have been deliberately conservative in managing DeMarcus Cousins’ minutes while easing him back into playing shape following a lengthy layoff due to an Achilles injury.

According to Steve Kerr, the Warriors are finally prepared to start letting Cousins loose as the team resumes play after the All-Star break.

“It was just sort of understood that we looked at the calendar, we had about a month, maybe a little more, between the time he came back and the All-Star break coming,” Kerr said following Wednesday’s practice, via ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “So that was the plan. We executed our plan. He did a great job, DeMarcus did. So now we’re entering a different phase of the season. We’ll see how it goes, but nothing’s set in stone.”

Cousins made his return on Jan. 18, almost a year after he suffered a torn left Achilles tendon while still with the New Orleans Pelicans. After signing a one-year, $5.3 million deal with the Warriors that stunned the NBA, the Warriors not surprisingly exercised extreme caution with the talented center given his lengthy layoff.

Kerr noted that Cousins looked a “little tired” of late, which helps explain why the star sat out the second game of a back-to-back that led the Warriors into the All-Star break.

Regarding how the Warriors intend to increase Cousins’ workload, Kerr said it depends on several factors.

“We’ll see how the games go,” Kerr said. “I don’t think we’ll change the plan too much in terms of how we’re going to play him in the rotations and all that, but I think once we get back into the rhythm we can absolutely play him for longer stretches, play him down the stretch if we like.

Through 11 games with the Warriors, Cousins is averaging 23.4 minutes per game while putting up 13.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.1 blocks. Golden State is 10-1 since his return and has looked almost unstoppable with their overflowing riches of superstars.