2019 NBA Finals: 5 takeaways from Game 1

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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2019 NBA Finals
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4. DeMarcus Cousins’ impact will be negligible

While it’s great to see DeMarcus Cousins back on the court after yet another injury threatened to end his season and kill his free agency value, the 2019 NBA Finals just don’t look like a series where he’ll be able to have much of an impact.

In a mere eight minutes off the bench, Boogie finished with three points, two assists, two steals and zero rebounds, going 0-for-2 from the floor with a plus/minus of -1. His minutes weren’t disastrous, exactly, but they were hardly encouraging for his role in this series.

Cousins’ scoring and confidence in shooting the rock both looked limited in the early stages of Game 1, and those are exact things he needs to bring to the table for that Curry-less second unit.

Even worse, he was lost on defense on the couple of occasions where the Raptors dragged him into pick-and-roll coverage. Given that he’s a big defensive liability, he has to be able to have an even bigger impact on the offensive end to justify significant minutes.

Toronto didn’t really exploit that mismatch as much as it should have on the defensive end, giving Boogie the opportunity to balance things out with his smart passing on offense. Cousins had two assists in his four first half minutes, deftly moving the ball in the half-court to create other scoring opportunities as well.

Unfortunately, that was the extent of his contributions, and if he can’t have an impact as more of an offensive weapon (or, you know, grab a few rebounds), his playing time will be minimal.