Cade Cunningham should be creating plays, running the floor, and distributing the basketball for the Detroit Pistons
Cade Cunningham’s skillset doesn’t translate to an ability to score on demand, at least not yet. While he’ll play best with the ball in his hands to start the offense, he should create a play in the first seven seconds of the shot clock, then move without the ball, and if the team hasn’t scored, he should get the ball back in the last seven seconds of the clock to take, create, or assist on a final shot developed from an organized sequence. This type of team cohesion will lead to the Detroit Pistons playing winning basketball and Cunningham emerging as the best version of himself.
Cunningham’s career effective field goal percentage is only .453. League average last year was .545. Cunningham isn’t a poor shooter, but he was forced to take over five threes per game and over eighteen shots per game last season. All this shooting while averaging only 5.6 assists per game over both years.
That’s not Cunningham’s game. He should be averaging seven plus assists per game, three good threes, and around fifteen shots with an above average field goal percentage.
While Detroit’s improved and developing roster should allow Cunningham’s game to be more efficient, the most important shift this year will be in how Monty Williams utilizes that roster. The coach will need to put players into positions that maximize their skillsets, and the players will need to execute plays designed around their individual abilities and preferences.
Cunningham has the size, athleticism, and intelligence to be an elite player. This year, hopefully, everything will be in place for him to realize his potential and lead the team to the next level.
When that happens, I’ll enjoy easy, dream filled nights of NBA basketball.