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On Monday, DeMarcus Cousins accrued his 15th and 16th technical fouls of the season during a loss to the Chicago Bulls.
The first of the two came during a skirmish with the Bulls when Cousins pushed Bulls assistant coach Jim Boylen. The second came when Cousins exploded after referees didn’t call a foul on his game-tying three-point attempt.
The NBA announced on Tuesday that Cousins will be suspended for one game for reaching 16 technical fouls.
For Cousins, this has been a consistent problem that has somehow only gotten worse this season. Cousins has always been a temperamental player, but this year, he already has 16 technical fouls before the All-Star break. According to the Washington Post, Cousins is the quickest player to 16 technicals since Dwight Howard in 2005-06. For each two additional technicals he receives, he’ll face another one-game suspension (not to mention more fines).
For the Kings, this is a huge problem. While they’re only 20-32, they’re only 3.5 games out of the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings have missed the playoffs for ten straight seasons and certainly would like to end that streak this season, especially with Cousins entering a contract year next season.
However, with Cousins now at the technical foul threshold, they’re at risk of losing their best player for games at a time if he cannot control his temper. Cousins doesn’t only put up monstrous stats – 28 points, 10 rebounds, and nearly five assists per game – they’re actually competitive with Cousins on the floor, only getting outscored by two points per 100 possessions. While that’s not a great number, consider that they get outscored by eight points per 100 possessions when he sits. The Kings are barely functional without Cousins on the floor.
Ultimately, this is only a problem Cousins can fix, but at the rate he’s picking up technicals, it seems likely that he’ll miss a few more games this season. As a result, it could take the Kings out of the playoff mix if it happens too frequently.