New Orleans Pelicans: DeMarcus Cousins’ case for the MVP Award

DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 15: DeMarcus Cousins
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 15: DeMarcus Cousins /

Although the New Orleans Pelicans have struggled to maintain consistency this season, DeMarcus Cousins is playing great for the team. However, is he getting enough recognition for the MVP Award?

The New Orleans Pelicans (18-16) have looked great at times this season. Then, there are other times where they look utterly lost and confused. Too often, the Pelicans have taken a lead into the fourth quarter only to see it slip and disappear.

However, one of their bright spots this season has been DeMarcus Cousins. Boogie is playing at an elite level for New Orleans, and his numbers show it.

Cousins’s stat line of 25.9 points, 12.1 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.4 blocks per game is incredible. He’s shooting 47.9 percent from the field and around 35.2 percent from the 3-point line. Boogie is also second in defensive rebounds at 343.

No doubt, DeMarcus Cousins deserves MVP votes if he continues to play like this. While the Pelicans’ record doesn’t reflect it, Cousins means an awful lot to this team. Before getting to the reasons why he deserves recognition, let’s first examine why Boogie probably won’t get any MVP votes.

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images /

It’s no secret that across the NBA, DeMarcus Cousins is seen as a hot head, too emotional, and probably expected to be ejected at some point in a game. And in some ways, it is true. Cousins leads the league in a few categories that no player wants to lead in. “Boogie” is second in personal fouls at 124 and is the joint leader in technical fouls at eight, alongside Draymond Green and Kevin Durant.

So, it is plausible to believe that Cousins at times proves to be unreliable when his emotions take over. Another stat that goes against him is turnovers. Cousins is the league leader in total turnovers with 170. The next closest is Russell Westbrook with 159. Just this season alone, Boogie averages 5.0 turnovers per game. While that is a lot for a superstar player, it also shows just how much of the offense flows through Cousins.

With that in mind, what is the case for DeMarcus Cousins to be considered an MVP candidate? Well for starters, just imagine how much the Pelicans would be missing if he were out. He’s shown his value when Anthony Davis is absent via injury or foul trouble. Basically, Boogie accounts for at least half, if not more, of the Pelicans’ offense.

DeMarcus Cousins means a great deal to this squad. While the Pelicans have been dealing with injuries, he remains the constant figure in the middle. Opposing teams fear him, and he will impose his will night in and night out.

While his emotions are questionable at times, there is no doubt that Cousins is among the elite players in the NBA. He most certainly deserves MVP recognition. He means more to New Orleans than most realize and makes most centers look silly in the league.

Cousins has also proven that he can step up and take over when the team is having an off night, or when Davis has missed games. As talented as Davis is, the Pelicans would not be where they are without the excellent play of DeMarcus Cousins. I believe it’s time to show some love for Boogie and what he has given his team and fans in general throughout the year.

Next: 2018 NBA Mock Draft: End of 2017 edition

If the Pelicans are able to maintain some consistency, get their key players healthy and climb up the Western Conference standings, the case for DeMarcus Cousins will grow. New Orleans will go as far as Boogie and the Brow take them. If Rondo can continue to play as he has, it only makes this team more lethal. Until then, Pelicans fans should shower Cousins with chants of “MVP” at the Smoothie King Center for the consistently high level he’s played at all season long.