I’ve been itching to compare a couple of NBA “bigs”. The problem I kept running into was the fact that the league is in serious demand for legit centers.
Guys like Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Shaquille O’Neal and Dikembe Mutombo roamed the paint when I was growing up. The league was littered (okay maybe I’m getting a little carried away) with skilled big men who could score and defend. They used length, power and great footwork to excel at their position and master their craft.
The current state of the NBA’s five position has me wondering when we’ll ever see a truly well-rounded center again. Sure, Dwight Howard is insanely gifted as an athlete. Immensely strong and truly works hard on the glass and overachieves defensively. But where is the offensive prowess? Howard is developing his post-game and has matured with a few moves on the block, but it’s been a agonizingly slow process.
Okay, enough about Dwight Howard and the legends of yesteryear. On to the topic at hand.
Andrew Bynum vs. DeMarcus Cousins is such an intriguing argument to me because I believe that Bynum and Cousins are the #2 and #3 centers in the league, behind Dwight Howard. They’re also a great topic of debate because they both have a lot of growing up to do.
Bynum has finally put together a pretty nice season. Sure, the Lakers aren’t at the top of the food chain anymore out west, but that’s not due to the way Bynum has preformed in his first full season since 2006-07.
He’s posted some pretty healthy numbers too, averaging 18.4 ppg, 11.9 rpg and 2 blocks. Bynum also has 7 technical fouls on the year, which puts him in a five-way tie with Rajon Rondo, Jamal Crawford, John Wall and Chris Paul at the 12th most in the league. That’s not terrible, considering Kendrick Perkins leads the charge with 14 techs.
There was the incident where Bynum decided to shoot a three with over 10 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter of a game that the Lakers barely won against the Warriors in late March. A move that got Bynum benched by head coach, Mike Brown.
There was Bynum’s attempt to end J.J. Barea’s career during last season’s playoffs.
These things tend to rub coaches, GM’s and players the wrong way. Add his many mental mishaps to the fact that he’s been injured more times than Jimmy Buffet has preformed “Margaritaville” and things start to look very bad for a young player with such a high ceiling.
On the flip-side of that very talented coin is DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins, the young, burly center from Kentucky.
This guy is another premier center with such a high ceiling and utter lack of common sense that it’s just sickening. The first to things that pop into my mind when I hear the name DeMarcus Cousins are highly talented young player and can’t-get-right hoodlum with a bad attitude and little understanding of how NBA player should conduct themselves.
Understand that I absolutely love Cousins’ game. I truly feel like he’s the guy to challenge Dwight Howard for center- supremacy in this league.
Cousins is averaging 17.9 ppg, 11.1 rpg and 1 block. All of that in just his second season. That speaks volumes to me.
Talk about having the ability to rebound and score. Cousins has the essentials plus some. He’s very agile, has great hands and feet and can score from various locations on the floor. Cousins and Bynum both have the ability to score from multiple locations on the hardwood. But I feel like Cousins game is on another level.
With that said. I also feel like his complete disregard for ethical conduct in the NBA is worse than that of Andrew Bynum.
Let’s take a look at Cousins’ rap sheet.
He has 12 technical fouls on the year, which puts him just two behind Perkins for the most in the NBA. He’s decided to talk out numerous times about other players and officiating. It was rumored that he demanded a trade out of Sacramento in just his sophomore season and has been targeted as a dirty player on the court.
It’s just tough to watch two players who possess so much raw talent and potential, screw it up because they want to keep it real. The problem is that they are putting a HUGE target on their backs.
Winner- For me it’s DeMarcus Cousins. Based on his extreme success in such a short amount of time. I feel like Cousins has already surpassed Bynum in a sense.