Report: DeMarcus Cousins Could Return from Quad Injury for Warriors in WCF
Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins reacts after falling to the floor during the first half of Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers in Oakland, Calif., Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins reportedly may return for the Western Conference Finals.

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Cousins could play during the Western Conference Finals if he maintains his current pace of recovery from a torn quad. He has not played since suffering the injury in Game 2 of the Warriors’ first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Clippers.

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On Friday, Golden State beat the Houston Rockets 118-113 to win the second-round series in six games and advance to the Western Conference Finals for the fifth consecutive year.

Stein’s report is in line with comments Cousins made Monday.

Per Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated, Cousins said: “For me, my goal is I ain’t planning on sitting. I don’t know the reality of it. But for me, that is not what I’m planning on doing … It’s definitely some type of bad movie. But I think it will have a very nice ending. Just wait for it.”

The 28-year-old Cousins signed a one-year deal with Golden State during the offseason after a torn Achilles cut his 2017-18 season short.

He returned this season to appear in 30 regular-season games, and he made a sizable impact for the Warriors. In 25.7 minutes per game, he averaged 16.3 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.3 steals.

After enjoying years of success without a reliable interior presence, the Warriors finally had one in Cousins and appeared poised to tear through the playoffs. But with Cousins out, the Dubs were taken to six games in each of their first two playoff series. They’ll now face either Portland or Denver next.

Cousins continues to heal as they wait, as does Kevin Durant, who missed Game 6 against Houston with a calf strain.

During Cousins’ absence, a host of bigs have split time for Golden State, including Andrew Bogut, Kevon Looney, Jonas Jerebko and Jordan Bell. Primarily, Golden State has relied on the likes of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green, as well as Durant when healthy.

Cousins’ presence would be especially important in a series against the Nuggets, who are led by All-Star center Nikola Jokic. No other big on Golden State’s roster can match up with him effectively, but Cousins’ versatility would make him a solid option.

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