DeMarcus Cousins looks primed for a breakout season in Sacramento.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In December, DeMarcus Cousins was fussing with his coach, Paul Westphal, a situation that contributed to Westphal losing his job in Sacramento.
Word circulated last winter that Cousins liked his new coach, former Indiana University guard Keith Smart. Like Cousins (Alabama and UK), Smart grew up in the South (Louisiana). Cousins appeared to trust him – and trust is a big deal to the big fella. Mistrust is an even bigger deal.
Have you checked the NBA pre-season statistics?
Guess who was leading the league in scoring?
DeMarcus Cousins, who is trying to become the guy Sacramento builds its team around.
Prior to Monday night's games, Cousins was first. He's still in the Top 10 after Carmelo Anthony (the new leader) and others had big nights. Cousins is averaging 15.2 points per game. He's even made a pair of three-point shots. Cousins has All-Star skills whenever he's ready to use all of them every night. So far no sign of any complaints from Sacramento.
Several other exhibition season highlights:
*Enes Kanter is having a solid camp with Utah, averaging 12 points and 9 rebounds. Look for him to get more clock this season. He had one of his best games Monday, scoring 18 points with 6 boards against Portland. Consider him as a back-up center for your fantasy team. Could be a breakout player.
*Former Western Kentucky guard Courtney Lee will be a factor with his new team, the Boston Celtics. Lee has averaged better than 10 points in eight games for Boston. The next Ray Allen? Lee has played on the fringes in his first four NBA seasons. In Boston, he gets prime exposure.
*Anthony Davis is putting up big scoring (13.4) and rebounding (10.0) numbers, but he won't be blocking as many shots (1.4) in The League as he did in the NCAA Tournament. Davis had an interesting game Monday. He made only two of a dozen shots, but grabbed 17 rebounds.
He's going to battle Damian Lillard (Portland), Bradley Beal (Washington) and Harrison Barnes (Golden State) for Rookie of the Year.
His former UK and current Hornets' teammate, Darius Miller, scored six points with a rebound in 15 minutes. Miller doesn't have a guaranteed contract, but he looks like he's going to make the team.
*Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Marquis Teague are struggling. MKG is making less than 37 percent of his shots, averaging 6.2 points per game. In his last three games, MKG has scored 1, 3 and 5 -- 9 points in 54 minutes.
Teague ranks 73rd among rookies in scoring, averaging less than a point per game. He's been a 22 percent shooter in five games for the Bulls. There is talk in Chicago that he could start the season in the Developmental League. Even with Derrick Rose out, Teague is the Bulls' third point guard, behind Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson. He played less than 3 minutes in the Bulls' last exhibition.
*Whenever Cody Zeller decides to leave Indiana for the NBA, he could become the third Zeller brother in The League. Tyler Zeller is a lock to make Cleveland but older brother Luke, who played at Notre Dame, has positioned himself to make the Phoenix Suns. He's averaging 6.5 points while getting nearly 19 minutes per game as a back-up center.