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Cade Cunningham defends four players in 8 seconds

Cade Cunningham’s defensive awareness is one of his secret strengths

Detroit Pistons v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

Detroit Pistons fans are witnessing potential greatness in real-time, and it is up to Detroit Pistons fans to capture the little and big moments along his path. We are basketball cartographers and beyond-the-archeologists. As such, it is our duty to highlight specific plays. We are creating a historical record, and also providing the building blocks for an end-of-season retrospective.

Cade Cunningham’s offense gets most of the publicity, and for good reason, but he remains a sneaky good defensive prospect. He uses that wise-beyond-his-years processing ability on both ends of the court, and no clip better displays that instinct and skill than the game against the Utah Jazz.

Early in the game against the Utah Jazz, Cade is the first man back in transition. He denies the transition opportunity, runs out on the swing pass to take away the perimeter shot, switches onto and fronts the big, steps out and gets his hands up to deny the drive and this forces an outlet pass to a player with his foot on the out-of-bounds line. Possession over.

Date: Jan. 10, 2022
Game: 30
Did the Pistons win?: No
Statline: 29 points, 8 assists, 1 rebound
Shooting: 10/17 (58%), 5/9 from 3 (55%)