Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins made his NBA playoff debut Saturday against the Clippers in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoffs. However, it didn't go exactly as planned.
In his ninth season in the league, Cousins struggled in his first postseason game. He didn't make a significant impact as he recorded nine points and nine rebounds on 4-for-12 shooting. He also had six turnovers and fouled out after just 21 minutes on the floor.
“I don’t need to say anything to DeMarcus. It was a frustrating night for him, fouling out, a couple tough calls,” Kerr said, per The Mercury News. “But it was important for him to get his feet wet and feel the playoffs, feel the energy and I have no doubt he’ll come back and play a lot better in Game 2.”
When asked about his performance after the game, Cousins seemed to shrug it off as he said: “It was cool.” The veteran added: “Good to finally be in that atmosphere for the first time."
Cousins explained some of the differences and challenges that come with playing in the postseason compared to the regular season.
”Everything’s just more magnified, every possession is a lot more important,” he said. “The regular season you kind of get lost … I guess could say you just go through the motions sometimes because it’s long. But this is definitely a fun time to be playing ball.”
Despite Cousins' lackluster debut, his Golden State teammates have no concern about his impact going forward as the Warriors look to bring home another championship.
“He’s going to be great for us. He’s going to win us a lot of games in this playoff,” Klay Thompson said. “It obviously wasn’t DeMarcus’ best game, but he was still very effective and he’s going to be great for us. It’s a marathon, not a sprint and I expect him to be dominant from here on out.”
Andre Iguodala added: “He got some good experience tonight, seeing how the game goes and how possessions are very important. Hopefully he continues to pick up quickly how a playoff game is.”
The Warriors entered the playoffs as defending back-to-back champions and the No. 1 seed in the West after finishing the regular season with a 57-25 record. They topped the eight-seeded Clippers 121-104 in Game 1, and will play Game 2 on Monday at 10:30 p.m. ET.