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.
Nobody would mistake Cade Cunningham for a high-flyer or highlight reel player. He doesn’t have the eye-popping length and fluidity of Evan Mobley or the jump-out-the-gym athleticism of the Jalens — Green or Suggs. Instead, he’s able to read, react and use his incredible arsenal of skills to get what he wants when he wants how he wants.
This has especially been true of his adeptness at getting to the basket. Again, he’s not a blow-by player who gets way above the rim. That lack of high-level burst was one of the biggest concerns about him as a prospect, with many wondering if he’d be overmatched in the pros.
Already, he is showing that he is able to get to the rim, and he is able to convert because he uses all the tools in his considerable tool box. A great example of that occurred Nov. 13 against the Toronto Raptors against one of their best defenders in OG Anunoby. In the first clip he makes his move but OG is able to keep pace, but Cunningham is able to square up and create just enough separation to get off a baby hook shot. In another possession he gets OG leaning the wrong way for just an instant, and he uses the moment to attack. Anunoby overcorrects and so Cunningham pivots and flies past him for a clean look at the rim.
Date: Nov. 13, 2022
Did the Pistons win?: Yes
Statline: 10 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists
Shooting: 4/10 (40%), 2/8 from 3 (25%)