Kings center DeMarcus Cousins has shot under 42 percent from the floor this season. (Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
Sacramento Kings big man DeMarcus Cousins showed promise last season in averaging 18.1 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, both improvements on his rookie year numbers.
But this season, the oft-maligned former No. 5 pick has taken a step backward, posting averages of 16.0 points and 9.5 rebounds while shooting just 41.7 percent from the field for the 4-12 Kings. In comments to The Sacramento Bee's Ailene Voison, Cousins said he has "been terrible" this season.
"We're losing. I don't feel like I made improvements from last year. I really don't have any confidence at all. I'm just trying to think my way through it, but right now, I'm not finding anything."
Cousins, who has a reputation for being immature and clashing with coaches, was benched by coach Keith Smart on Saturday for a lack of hustle and has experienced numerous other problems that Voison described.
Overdribbling. Driving into crowds of defenders. Ignoring open teammates. Failing to rotate. Fingerpointing in the locker room. Frowns, glares and head shakes on the court.
He's tied with New York's Carmelo Anthony for the most technicals (five) in the league, and his ongoing tiffs with officials clearly are limiting his effectiveness. He is too easily distracted by bad calls or non-calls, often lingering and complaining instead of busting downcourt and matching up with his man.
The 22-year-old center was suspended earlier this season
for a confrontation with Spurs TV analyst Sean Elliott. Both head coach Keith Smart and assistant Clifford Ray said that the suspension has affected Cousins' play.