Why DeMarcus Cousins can't come off bench, and why Draymond Green will be fine

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Warriors reporter Kerith Burke takes you inside the defending back-to-back NBA champions, answering your questions about DeMarcus Cousins and Draymond Green, life as a reporter and how to kill time on flights. Dive in!
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Why DeMarcus Cousins can't come off bench, and why Draymond Green will be fine originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com

Editor's note: Kerith Burke, NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors reporter, will take you inside the two-time defending NBA champions as only she can each Friday with the Ask Kerith Mailbag. Send her a question on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #askkerith

Tip-Off

That Dwyane Wade buzzer-beater was something.

After Wednesday's game, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and Jordan Bell looked bummed they lost that way but amused by a shot like that and who took it.

Players root for other players' great moments, but as Steph explained, "It just sucks it had to happen against us."

Game On!

@EarthWarrior0 Can Boogie come off the bench?!

He can … but that's not the best use of his time here. He needs to be on the floor with the other All-Stars when he's trying to ramp up after an injury. Give him the best chance to succeed.

DeMarcus Cousins has been in a starting role for years, and removing that could be a hit to the confidence at a time when he's building that back up. This confidence-building isn't a favor to Boogie either. He's earned a starting role as one of the most talented centers in the NBA.

The understanding since the beginning was that Boogie would be a starter, and there's no need to tweak that.

@GSWReddit Who would you say is the best dancer/bench celebrator on the team? Alfonzo said it was Quinn in his AMA (last Friday) but, a lot of us would say Jordan.

I'm Team Bell on this question. Bell's improv skills to create a funny reaction have been great. The one where he "fainted" and Quinn caught him is an all-time favorite.

@DaW7 Seems like Jordan bell was on his way to a strong season after last year. What happened? And how is it affecting him on/off the court.

There's not a "thing" that happened with Bell but a collection of normal changes.

First, sometimes there's a drop-off between the rookie season and the sophomore season. Year 2 can be hard. Expectations are higher since a player has had time in the league to figure out things. There's less tolerance for mistakes. And fans treat you a little differently when you're not the new, fresh thing.

Also consider who is around Bell. He's a center on a team with Cousins, Damian Jones and Kevon Looney. Bell is athletic, but he's the smallest of these guys. Matchups don't always go his way. He's also behind Draymond Green, one of the most unique players in the NBA who gets time at center, too.

I wrote about Bell previously and the way he's discovering his place in the pecking order. Bell got a lot of comparisons to Green during his rookie season, and that's flattering but hard to live up to.

Finally, any role player is going to experience fluctuations in minutes. The main thing for Bell is to be ready when his number is called. He was ready in Miami when he played 19 minutes and finished with 10 points. His hustle was good, and that was his first game back after the flu.

@lynellesoto Is it hard to be a "reporter" but can't report on warriors stuff the way other reporters can?

I work for NBC Sports Bay Area. I don't work for the Warriors. It's true I have travel privileges and behind-the-scenes access with the team. There's a line to walk, but I feel independent and empowered to report on what I want to report on. Or write whatever I want in this mailbag.

When it comes to traveling with the team, there are off-the-clock periods. Observations from the plane or team hotel are not for me to report because those are private spaces. Additionally, if I'm going to build trust with the players, every conversation can't be on the record. Sometimes we need to talk human to human instead of reporter to player. We are not our jobs every moment of every day.

Everything else is fair game. I'm at the practices, shoot-arounds and games. Like the other reporters, I share what comes out of those events with freedom.

My job is different than what the print reporters do. I distill stories into 45- to 60-second hits during the broadcasts. My interviews are live, on camera. Print reporters can expand on stories with several paragraphs. We touch on the same things but in different mediums.

@Jon_in_SoCal Is Draymond physically breaking down or is it the mid season blahs?

Let's start with the wide view: Everyone is dealing with bumps and bruises this time of year. There are 20 or so games left in the regular season, and ice packs and massages are commonplace.

As for Draymond, he's a special player who can guard 1 to 5 on the floor. When he matches up against an opponent's center, he might be banging bodies with a guy who has four inches and 40 pounds on him. That's tough. Jon asked his question the night Draymond left the game against the Rockets with an ankle sprain after he stepped on Cousins' foot. Random tweaks will happen, and some season-long wear-and-tear is happening.

Draymond said he came into this season feeling his best, physically and mentally. He took a real break during the offseason. At times this season, when his assist-to-turnover ratio was the best in the league, we could see how essential he is to the win streaks the Warriors put together.

There also are mid-season blahs to contend with. With playoffs this close and the Warriors salivating for a three-peat, seeing more meaningful things on the horizon can make what's in front of you feel dull. That's expected. But they can't hit a fast-forward button to the fun part. The Warriors know they have to be in the moment and bring the energy as best as they can.

@Sadedaniel23 Should the warriors be concerned with Draymond signing with Klutch sports, in part due to how previous contract negotiations resulted in hold outs ex: Jr, Tristan, and etc ...

I don't think so. As far as I understand it, and Marcus Thompson's article was helpful, working with Klutch is an opportunity for Draymond to diversify beyond basketball. He can do some multimedia things to tell the stories he wants to tell. He can have a bigger network for community causes. Working with Klutch seems like a chance to grow his interests on the business side. Players want to be seen as multidimensional people. Because they are!

As far as negotiations, Draymond wouldn't have signed with Klutch if he didn't think that group would advocate for him in the strongest way possible. He should have every reason to feel empowered to get the best deal. Even in a friendly setting, and the Warriors love Draymond, you want a bulldog in your corner for negotiations. Know your worth.

@deligloria2014 Do you think that Jonas Jerebko will get more playing time during the playoffs?

It's hard to say. I see one scenario where a role player emerges to have a big postseason when the team needs him most. With Jerebko's skill set and years in the league, he knows what it takes to win. I don't think he gets enough credit for his toughness. He hustles. He communicates. He's engaged.

The other scenario is the rotation shortens in the postseason to let the well-oiled machine run like it has in previous championship years.

More playing time has been hard for Jerebko since Cousins came back. Steve Kerr prepared Jerebko for the shrinking minutes.

Any injuries that pop up can change minutes too, of course. So, I'm not sure. I do trust Jerebko will be ready for anything.

@twistedahyun favorite movie?

I like The Royal Tenenbaums. It cheers me up when I'm sick. The cast is perfect. The soundtrack is good.

Recently, my favorite movie is Free Solo. It's about Alex Honnold's mission to climb El Capitan at Yosemite without any safety devices. Here's the trailer. Free Solo won the Oscar for Best Documentary!

@TweetHeroDre What do you do to kill time on flights? Are you working or catching up on Netflix shows? #AskKerith

Part of this job is good time management, and being on a plane is a good distraction-free time to work. I read game notes, I catch up on stories from other reporters, and I write. Hello, mailbag.

When the work is done, I turn to Netflix. I watched all of BoJack Horseman this season. I loved Russian Doll. I finished the first season of Friends from College. I liked it, but I don't know if I'll watch the second season.

Right now I'm watching Bodyguard, the political thriller that captivated the UK before it came to Netflix. I'm on episode four, and I love it so far.

High Five

This week's high five goes to Draymond for this awesome court refurbishment at the Downtown Oakland YMCA.

Draymond has talked extensively about how life wasn't easy growing up in Saginaw, Mich., and he sees himself in the faces of kids he meets today.

Follow Kerith on Twitter @KerithBurke and on Instagram @warriorskerith, and, of course, watch her on NBC Sports Bay Area's Warriors coverage all season.