Cade Cunningham clawing his way up Rookie ladder towards RoY

Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Cade Cunningham #2 of the Detroit Pistons (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /

Cade Cunningham and the Detroit Pistons are in the best stretch of their season and NBA Rookie of the Year voters are noticing.

The Pistons have won six of their last nine games with Cunningham leading the way. Cunningham has put up an outstanding 22.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 5.8 apg stat line in this stretch and has a streak of five 20-point games in a row.

He’s put up 21.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists since February 16th and has been the best rookie in that time, getting into the Pistons’ record books again along the way.

But it still wasn’t enough to get him back to the top of the Rookie Ladder, the NBA’s weekly ranking of rookies. He climbed to number two in this week’s edition but was unable to dislodge Evan Mobley, who is still the frontrunner for Rookie of the Year.

Cade vs. Trae: Which guard would you rather have?. light. Related Story

This is going to come down to the preferences of voters, as I don’t know if Cade Cunningham can do enough individually to undo Mobley’s advantage in team success, but is that fair?

Cade Cunningham vs. Evan Mobley: The classic NBA Rookie of the Year debate

Cade Cunningham vs. Evan Mobley (and Scottie Barnes) is the classic NBA Rookie of the Year debate.

Mobley and Barnes have smaller roles on better teams, while Cade Cunningham has the highest usage of the three, is the team’s offensive focal point and often tasked with defending the other team’s best guard or wing.

All three have been amazing and I think you can make a solid case for any one of them, but Cade does more for his team than anyone else, while the other two play secondary roles on much more successful teams.

I can’t disagree with using team success as part of the measure, even though this is an individual award, but the Cavaliers and Raptors have both been worse than the Pistons over their last 10 games and Cade has a 5-1 record in head-to-head matchups against the two.

If the Cavs and Raptors continue to slip in the standings and the Pistons are strong down the stretch, this race will tighten even more in favor of Cade Cunningham.

Evan Mobley has the slight edge for now, but Cade is turning some heads and still has the chance to chase him down.

dark. Next. Pistons mailbag! Reader questions answered