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Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Drummond, Cousins Look To Take Next Step After FIBA Experience

Guest Article by Sam Holbein

Four years ago, much was made about the fact that nearly every player on the 2010 FIBA World Cup team wound up doing big things that fall in the NBA. Many agreed that the extra work against world-class talent helped players take that next step. Two very talented big men in the NBA are hoping that the same will hold true in 2014. DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond are two of the most talented young centers in the game, and they are getting valuable experience this summer.

Talent in the NBA is abundant, but these two still stand out in a crowd. They are both physically gifted in ways that few basketball players in the world are. Both were highly regarded out of high school and college, but they came with some red flags. Discipline has always been an issue, and maturity has been questioned at times as well. Cousins is the older of the two, and right now, he is more refined. That has led to more significant minutes in the FIBA World Cup so far. It is very likely that the United States will count on him quite a bit if they face Spain in the championship game. The Spaniards have a lot of size to throw at Team USA, but Cousins is as big and as talented as any of them.

People in fantasy basketball are more than pleased with Cousins’ output at this time. He is someone who is more highly regarded when just looking at his statistics. There has been a lot of losing in Sacramento, and some of the blame has been put on Cousins’ lack of leadership qualities. Now 24 and around a bunch of other talented players, perhaps he can step things up for the Kings in 2014-2015.

As for Drummond, he seems to briefly show flashes of brilliance at times. He is one of the most physically gifted NBA players in the game, but he still needs to refine his game. He has no jumpshot to speak of, and his free-throw shooting is atrocious. As long as he stays within himself, he is worth going after in fantasy basketball because he is a double-double machine.

Drummond might not be playing as much in the World Cup, but he is still practicing with some of the best in the world. With Stan Van Gundy now the head coach in Detroit, it is time for Drummond to take things up another level. His hard work this summer could make him an All-Star sooner rather than later in the Eastern Conference.

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posted by David Friedman @ 9:52 PM