This Detroit Pistons guard owned the left wing last season

New York Knicks guard Alec Burks (18) is guarded by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
New York Knicks guard Alec Burks (18) is guarded by Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

There is no doubt that the Detroit Pistons need to improve their 3-point shooting as a team if they want to climb the Eastern Conference standings.

The Pistons were abysmal in just about every shooting category, particularly from behind the arc, where they were one of the worst teams in the NBA.

They are going to need internal improvement from guys like Cade Cunningham and Saddiq Bey and that should come, as Cade struggled early last season with an ankle injury and Bey was trying to add more nuance to his offensive game which looked to have an effect on his 3-point shooting.

But that won’t be nearly enough, as Detroit not only shot a horrible percentage as a team but also shot low volume, so they need more accuracy and more 3-point shots in general, as they just weren’t doing enough to create space around their guards.

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Luckily, the Detroit Pistons added a guy in Alec Burks who should help, as he not only shot over 40 percent from 3-point range but completely owned one area of the floor where the other Pistons’ guards will be able to get him the ball.

Detroit Pistons: Alec Burks on the left wing

Cade Cunningham is already brilliant in the pick-and-roll, as he has the vision, patience and shooting ability to keep defenses scrambling.

But without a real roll threat last season, and few shooters around him, defenses could sell out on staying with Cade and didn’t have to worry about much else.

That should change when Alec Burks is on the floor, especially on the left side, where he was one of the best shooters in the NBA last season.

According to NBA University, Burks was the best shooter in the NBA last season from the left wing, hitting 45 percent of his shots from that spot.

Cade is going to be able to run high pick-and-roll with one of the Pistons’ bigs, but now defenses are going to pay when they collapse on Cunningham, as he has a real shooting threat around him.

I think we are going to see a whole lot of plays where Cade is running pick-and-roll while Burks comes running off baseline screens and when the wing defenders try to collapse on Cade, he’ll kick it out to Burks on the left side wing, where he is money.

You definitely won’t see any of last season’s Detroit Pistons popping up on any “best shooters” lists, so having a guy who is one of the league’s best from behind the arc is undoubtedly going to change the dynamic of their offense and make Cade Cunningham even more effective in the high pick-and-roll.

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