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Numbers Don’t Lie: DeMarcus Cousins the Worst Big Man This NBA Season

April 13, 2012

DeMarcus Cousins is one talented individual.  However, he is having one of the most horrific offensive seasons in the NBA for a Big Man.  To put it in perspective on how bad he has been, I compared his stats to other forward-centers and centers in the NBA as defined by Yahoo Sports.

Top 8 Scoring centers in the NBA plus Cousins as of 4/11/2012

*At least 10 points a game and played enough games to qualify for league leaders

Player Team FG Pct Offensive Rating Usage Rate
Tyson Chandler NY 68.0% 130 16.9%
Marcin Gortat PHO 56.9% 115 20.9%
Andrew Bynum LAL 56.4% 112 23.3%
Greg Monroe DET 51.8% 109 24.0%
Marc Gasol MEM 47.7% 109 19.3%
Roy Hibbert IND 49.5% 107 21.5%
Dwight Howard ORL 57.3% 106 26.1%
JaVale McGee DEN 53.8% 104 20.7%
DeMarcus Cousins SAC 44.5% 101 29.4%

Top 10 Scoring forward-centers in the NBA as of 4/11/2012

Player Team FG Pct 3PT ATT Off Rating Usage Rate
Ryan Anderson ORL 43.8% 6.9 125 21.4%
Kevin Love MIN 44.8% 5.1 117 28.8%
LaMarcus Aldridge POR 51.2% 0.2 113 27.0%
Blake Griffin LAC 54.3% 0.2 112 26.6%
Pau Gasol LAL 50.7% 0.4 112 22.2%
Al Jefferson UTA 49.3% 0.1 111 26.1%
David Lee GS 50.2% 0.1 108 25.9%
Chris Bosh MIA 48.2% 0.6 108 24.2%
Kevin Garnett BOS 51.3% 0.2 106 24.6%
DeMarcus Cousins SAC 44.5% 0.2 101 29.4%

Let’s summarize what the numbers say:

  • Of the 18 players on the list, Cousins has the lowest offensive rating.
  • His offensive rating is lower than the much-maligned JaVale McGee
  • His FG% is the 2nd lowest of the 18 players on the list.  It is only lower than Ryan Anderson whose field goal percentage is low because he attempts almost 7 three pointers a game while Cousins average 0.2 three-point attempts.
  • His usage rate is 29.4%, which is the highest of all the 18 players on the list.  As defined the Basketball Reference, usage rate is as an estimate of the percentage of team played used by a player while he was on the floor.  This means that Cousins uses a higher percentage of team plays than Kevin Love.
  • Not on the table above is DeMarcus Cousins 9th in usage rate in the entire NBA.  This means that his offensive rating of 101 is being utilized 29.4% of the time he is on the floor.

Poor offensive rating and high usage rate is more normal with guards as they shoot a lot further from the basket and turn the ball over more.  However, it is unusual for a big man to have the combination of both.  The sad part in all of this is his offensive rating actually improved from 94 to 101 this season.  With some much talent, it is not wonder why the Sacramento Kings don’t win.

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