Whether it’s from his days with Russell Westbrook or his current pairing with Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant knows something about 1-2 punches. With the newly formed New Orleans Pelicans’ tandem of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis, the Golden State Warriors star sees something special.
Kevin Durant on the pairing of Boogie Cousins and Anthony Davis: 'I think it can be legendary.'
— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) February 23, 2017
Cousins and Davis are already in sync when it comes to a nickname, coined by Cousins: “Fire and Ice.”
How quickly can they become legendary? Durant may find that out shortly. Seven out of the eight playoff teams in the Western Conference are all but decided. The Pelicans are one of many teams fighting for the eighth and final spot. Should New Orleans win that spot, Durant’s Warriors would be a likely first-round opponent.
NBA history is not filled with many big men tandems like Cousins and Davis. In relatively recent history, we’ve seen Robert Parish and Kevin McHale with the Boston Celtics, Hakeem Olajuwon and Ralph Sampson with the Houston Rockets and Tim Duncan and David Robinson with the San Antonio Spurs.
But all of those tandems came in eras where big men were vital to the game. So, as great as those players were, the best opponents usually had plenty of size to counter them. With an increased reliance on perimeter shooting, that’s not the case today. Even the big men (like Durant) tend to have good range and stretch the floor.
Cousins and Davis both have range as well. But few big men in the league can match their size and skill in the low post. If they find a way to make it work, Durant is right. Cousins and Davis can be a legendary pair.