3 things fans should be thankful for
The holiday season brings out the best in all of us. During this time, we will take time to reflect on the blessings in our lives and all that we hold dear. Be it our young face of the franchise, our “bad boy” center or even the cool new red alternatives (finally), Detroit Pistons fans have a lot to thank.
Simply put, there’s a lot going on right now to get Pistons fans in the Christmas spirit.
Despite the eventful loss to the Lakers and the fourth quarter collapse against the Heat, the Pistons are only 4.5 games away from the play-in tournament. After a bumpy start to the season, it’s encouraging that the team is still just a stone’s throw away from the playoffs.
On the flip side, if it’s headed south quickly, the Pistons should have great chances of landing another top pick (this is known as a sleek tank).
While some young players settle in, there are some signs of life with great individual accomplishments. Killian Hayes has begun righting the ship on his three-point shoot and has recorded multiple steals in numerous games before sitting down with a thumb injury. Saddiq Bey continues to show breakout scoring potential and Isaiah Stewart has been a defensive threat in recent weeks.
It’s been bleak for a while but things are on the rise. Of all the good news about the team right now, here are the top three things to be thankful for.
Detroit Pistons: # 1 – Lottery Luck & Cade Cunningham
As if there was another option at the top – your number 1 draft pick Cade Cunningham (who will never get old).
The narrative about Cunningham this season was predictable. After missing the first couple of weeks of the season, Cunningham came in and was under-challenged in his first few games.
Those who saw the games knew that Cade was still making a huge impact by making winning games, it was just the cold shooting that made his numbers look like they did.
Things have turned in a hurry. With a couple of 20-point games and the most recent triple-double in franchise history, we know the Pistons have a real star in the making.
Cunningham’s influence cannot be overstated. The Pistons have yet to win one game that Cade didn’t play and are 4-7 in games he does.
The pistons look even more complete the nights his shots are fired.
In 12 games played, Cade has averaged 13.4 points, 6.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game. He also has an average of 1.3 steals per game.
Those numbers should only rise as Cade is more comfortable shooting and attacking the edge in the NBA. He only tries about two free throws per game, which should increase as he feels more comfortable.
It seems like the funny saying “eye test” has been getting around all over the sports world lately. And for a good reason. Numbers only paint part of the picture, nothing can quite imitate by watching events.
In the “eye test”, Cade Cunningham scores more like a multi-year all star than a 20-year-old rookie. He leads confidently and his teammates respond. He attacks with speed and more control than anyone we’ve seen his age (except, of course, Luka Doncic).
No matter how we cut it, the pistons got “one” in Cade. He’s the type of gamer you blow it all up for and the type of gamer you build it up to be.