By Jennifer Lee Chan • NBCSports
LOS ANGELES — While DeMarcus Cousins’ debut with the Warriors exceeded expectations, teammate Stephen Curry said that the team still has a long way to go to build their chemistry on the court.
“A lot of things we’re going to have to work on going forward,” Curry said on Sunday. “We understand that. A lot to focus on, so leading up to the all-star break, going to continue to build this momentum that we had the last six games.”
There was an understandable hype leading up to Cousins’ return to the court. Now that his first game is behind them, the team can look forward to building their chemistry.
“There’s a lot of excitement in terms of welcoming him back,” Curry said. “We looked forward to it for an entire season, I know he has. I know it was a good first step for him, just getting comfortable with it back on the floor.”
Cousins’ debut came at the right time, according to coach Steve Kerr. The time of year right before the all-star break is a challenging one to build momentum.
“DeMarcus’ coming in right now is perfect,” Kerr said. “It gives us a little bounce in our step, a little challenge to incorporate him and to feel comfortable with the group. And we got a lot of work to do.”
The team worked on offense in their first practice after beating the Los Angeles Clipperson Friday. The Warriors appeared to click right away on Cousins’ first-quarter that created headlines, but Curry said Sunday’s work was necessary.
“To be honest,” Curry quipped, “for his first four minutes he was on the court, I think we called one play and I think we messed it up.”
Curry further detailed why the offense can be such a challenge for a new player coming into the fold, let alone one working his way back from such a significant injury.
“Honestly we have certain sets we’ve been running for years now,” Curry said. “And it’s kind of second nature now for most guys. For him, I don’t know how much he saw play calls from scouts when he was on opposing teams, but it takes a while to get caught up to speed. Then things start moving 100-miles an hour on the court and it’s even tougher.”
What the Warriors have going for them is how close they are off the court. Having Cousins around, even when he didn’t play in the first 45 games, has been a positive for the Warriors. It should help them moving forward, too.
“I think we have chemistry in terms of we care for each other,” Curry said. “Trying to bring the best out of each other. Chemistry in terms of what we’re doing on every possession will continue to get better as we go forward. It will be a work in progress because of just how complex some of the things can be and all the talent we have.”