Detroit Pistons: Revisiting preseason questions with James Edwards III

Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
Hamidou Diallo and Frank Jackson of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Cade Cunningham
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies . (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

All-Star break seems like a good time to look back at some of the preseason questions and expectations we had for the Detroit Pistons.

I was optimistic but realistic coming into the season, and I predicted that the Pistons would win fewer than 25.5 games, which was their preseason over/under.

I predicted another 20-win season and unfortunately, it looks like I was right. The reverse jinx did not work, as I was secretly hoping the Pistons would challenge for the play-in tournament.

We also sat down with James Edwards III from the Athletic, who was nice enough to answer some preseason questions and make some predictions of his own.

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James is one of the Pistons’ best beat writers and did an admirable job with these questions and predictions, nailing most of them, though like all preseason predictions, there were a few that didn’t pan out.

Here are some of the most interesting responses and how they compare to reality in hindsight.

What kind of player will Cade Cunningham be for the Detroit Pistons?

James’ answer then:

"“I think it’s going to be similar to what you saw in Summer League. A guy who is going to initiate some offense. A guy who is going to play off-ball next to Killian. I think his jump shot is going to be his greatest strength as he starts. He shot 50 percent in Summer League, in very few games but he shot 50 percent. His shooting is going to be what he is able to fall back on as he gets adjusted to NBA speed, length, athleticism. They should expect defensive effort too, there’s some real defensive potential there.”"

The reality:

It looks like James’ answer was spot-on, though Cunningham has not shot the ball as well overall as we might have expected. It turns out that his inside game has been more important than his 3-point shooting, and he has shot fewer from long range as the season goes on.

Cunningham has put in the defensive effort as well, is currently second among rookies in steals and has been a force on that end at times.