Detroit Pistons: 1 question for each player to answer in final 24 games

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons while playing against the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons while playing against the Milwaukee Bucks (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Pistons, Cade Cunningham, Saddiq Bey
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons speaks with Saddiq Bey (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Questions for the Detroit Pistons: The core

Isaiah Stewart

Can Stewart improve his jumper or his work in the pick-and-roll? If one of these things does not happen, Stewart is not an NBA starting center, as you can’t have guys in the starting lineup who can’t score unless they are elite defenders, which Stewart is not.

Stewart is a good defender and an adequate rebounder, but he’s a negative on offense and his lack of ability to do anything in the pick-and-roll has undoubtedly hurt the Pistons’ young guards.

He needs to show marked improvement in one of these areas over the last 24 games to have a chance to be the starter next season.

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Saddiq Bey

Can Bey get to the free-throw line more often? Yesterday I compared Bey to Jimmy Butler, and while I think that is a best-case scenario, I don’t think it is impossible, especially offensively, as Bey already has much better numbers than Butler did at his age.

Butler was able to make the leap to All-Star by becoming much more efficient from 2-point range and by getting to the line way more, something Bey has not done in his young career.

If Bey can get to the line closer to five times a game (as opposed to 2.8), he can start to take the next step as a scorer. He has the frame and strength to do it, and has improved his footwork in the mid and short range this season, but still gets stuffed around the rim a lot on plays when he should be trying to draw fouls.

I’d like to see Bey get more touches in the final 24 games and to try and get to the line.

Cade Cunningham

Can Cade win Rookie of the Year? I’d say Cunningham’s latest injury setback made him a clear underdog for Rookie of the Year even though he is in the top-5 of several statistical categories for rookies. What Cade brings to a team is often difficult to quantify with stats, so he’ll need to have a couple of monster games down the stretch to put himself back into the conversation. He’s still right there, so if he has a few more triple-doubles, or drops 45 points in a game, he will get the attention. I know Cade is a team player, but he thinks he’s the best rookie and I guarantee he wants to win this award.

I think these last 24 games are going to be big for him and we’ll see a focused and dedicated Cunningham put up monster numbers and hopefully take home the award.

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