Kings open with win for first time in 7 years; Cousins strong in debut
Even without their star guard Tyreke Evans (suspended) in the lineup, the Sacramento Kings were able to hold off the Minnesota Timberwolves by one-point in the season-opener. Carl Landry and Francisco Garcia led the way with 22 points each, while Landry also chipped in with a game-high 11 rebounds. But the real key to the Kings' victory could have been rookie forward-center DeMarcus Cousins. Cousins start off slow, disappearing in the first quarter after he lost the jump ball, but bounced back in the second with strong low post play, versatile outside play setting up teammates for scores and showing off his mid-range jump shot. Although he struggled with some rookie mistakes and fouls that could have easily been avoided, Cousins collected 8 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in his first NBA game. More importantly, Sacramento was a +18 when he was on the court.
If Cousins can maintain his positive attitude and effort all while minimizing his fouls, he could be a force in his NBA career and could surprise by making the Blake Griffin-John Wall Rookie of the Year voting, a three-headed race.