2. Boogie’s big night
Everybody’s talking about LeBron James, James Harden and Kyrie Irving, amongst others, for the NBA MVP race. While it’s still a bit early to talk about MVP (wait until at least January), DeMarcus ‘Boogie’ Cousins should be in the heat of the discussions. Cousins is having a fantastic year and his performance on Wednesday night solidifies that claim. Cousins dropped 40 points and 22 rebounds on the Nuggets to lead the Pelicans to a 123-114 win over Denver at home.
Just how incredible are those numbers? Boogie is the first players to put up multiple 40+ point, 20+ rebound games since Patrick Ewing … in the 1989-90 season. It’s been almost 30 years since anybody has done that. He’s been simply remarkable this season.
Other than being ejected against the Warriors earlier in the week, Cousins has done extremely well in keeping the Pelicans afloat in Anthony Davis’ absence. In fact, Cousins has kept the Pelicans in every game and made each game competitive, unlike old times without Davis. With the nine-point win over the Nuggets on Wednesday night, the Pelicans improved to over .500 (13-12) and are now in position for the final playoff spot in the West. Of course, there’s still a lot of basketball to be played, but Boogie is playing out of his mind and New Orleans is still competing without one of its best two players.
Even though New Orleans isn’t in contention for one of the best records in the league, Cousins definitely deserves a seat at the table when it comes time to talk MVP. He’s quietly racking up 25.9 points and 12.6 rebounds per game while shooting over 45 percent from the field.