[Photo by Noah Graham / NBAE about Getty Images]
It is impossible to fill the shoes of a double MVP. Especially, who is the whole system of his team.
But with Stephen Curry possibly through the first round of the NBA playoffs, Quinn Cook must lead the ailing Golden State Warriors in his absence.
Cook, who has played 24 games with the Warriors this season, is all about finding the confidence to play his game. That's exactly what the Warriors need from him when they inflict bizarre injuries.
"That's the biggest thing for me, the coaches, all the vets tell me to do that" Cook said to have the self-confidence of his style. "If it's your first year in the team and you've had some problems sometimes, certain people, certain coaches [would be like] & # 39; Maybe he can not do it at this level … or would he tell me that a bit more at the ball. "
Cook does not need that. As the remainder of the starting lineup consists of Nick Young, Patrick McCaw, JaVale McGee and Kevon Looney ̵
"I tell you, Steve [Kerr] every player on my team: Dot [Livingston] Kevin [Durant] Steph [Curry] Draymond [Green] Everyone told me to keep shooting, if you hesitate they would get mad That's why I was able to play some high-profile games, because they really believed in my abilities. "
That's why not just stat stuffing, daily fantasy numbers. The Warriors still need Cook to contribute when Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green return. And as long as Curry can not play, Cook could also be a differentiator in the first round of the playoffs.
To continue to produce the kind of Warriors he needs, Cook must be self-confident. This is a team work in and of itself.
"I remember Steph telling me," I do not care if you're 0-of-25. This 26th shot, you better not hesitate. "To hear that from such a guy is very important to your self-confidence, it really shows you that I can stop putting pressure on myself and really play my game."
"He got me in the mid-term I wrote a text message after the game, so I was a little worried. "
Cook needed all the confidence he could get. After all, his trip to the Warriors was tumultuous, to say the least.
Since joining the NBA in 2015, Cook has signed seven deals with four teams before arriving in Golden State. After a four-year career with Duke, Cook signed with the Cavaliers in September 2015, only to relinquish him a month later.
He signed with the Pelicans in September 2016, but was released a month later. At the end of February 2017, the Mavericks committed him to a 10-day deal. He then signed 10-day contracts with the Pelikanen before they finally signed him to a two-year contract for $ 1.32 million. However, they have renounced him three and a half months later.
"If you do not know where you will be tomorrow or next week, that's tough, so if I come here [from Santa Cruz] I would play, so as not to mess up, play, so as not to stand on anyone's toes People need me to be who I am I think the warriors signed me because they know I can do something, and when I'm not, I'm not the same player. "
For the 2017-18 season, he spent a month with the Hawks before signing a two-way contract with the Warriors
"Every time you travel in the NBA, in practice, you're a dream come true "said Cook Bleacher Report. "To get zero points or shoot a lot, to play in the NBA is the dream for me."
Cook was no stranger to success before his arrival in Golden State. After winning a national championship in college, Cook was the rookie of the year 2015-16 D-League. He is a two-time D-League All-Star and was the 2017 D-League All-Star Game MVP. He scored an average of 25.3 points, 8.1 assists and 4.6 rebounds this season with the Santa Cruz Warriors, 52.7 percent from the field, 43.9 from beyond the arc and 94.9 at the line. He just needed the right mentality.
Cook recently transferred this success to the NBA. His hot shooting touch may fade, but he has shown his ability to score in several ways. If he goes on like this, he could help turn one or two games in the playoffs down the line.
He drills everything from the deep, including pull-up three-pointers with high pick-and-roll a la curry. 19659024] He is also able to reach the second level, getting his defender on his hip and dribbling in midfielders:
The Warriors need Cook to continue his best curry flavor.
"He finally feels well, Kerr explained." It's perfectly natural for him to postpone his first few games without Steph. We used to tell him, "Get 20, and get 25. We need that." You see our list without the guys we have, he should be our best scorer. That's what he does. I think he felt comfortable after a few games and now he only plays. It's fun to see. Cook has thrived on a consistent role and as the Warriors' Stars recover from their injuries, Cook becomes a potential contender on a championship contender.
statistics [NBAcom and Basketball Reference Will Gottlieb follow on Twitter: @wontgottlieb.