2 concerning early trends for Cade Cunningham

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’s return for the Detroit Pistons has been all we had hoped for, as he is controlling the offense, scoring more efficiently and locked in on the defensive end.

He’s averaging over 22 points per game to go along with eight assists and at times has looked unstoppable as he maneuvers his way through defenses to get to his spots.

The Cunningham/Duren pick and roll is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with, as defenses have to decide whether to leave Cade open for a mid-range shot or potentially allow Duren to roll to the hoop for a lob and dunk.

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There have been a couple of concerning trends, though after three games it’s early to call something a ” trend” but these date back to Cade’s rookie season and are things that eventually need to change for him to reach his full potential.

Can Cade Cunningham get a call?

I am as biased as any fan could be, but still, I can’t remember a star player getting fewer whistles than Cunningham. He’s only taken nine free throws through three games and seven of them were in the last one against the Bulls.

Cade managed to score 30 points in game one without taking a single free throw, which isn’t easy to do. He shot a measly two in the second game and finally got to the line for seven against Chicago. Hopefully, that will be more of the norm, but when you watched the whistle Zach LaVine was getting compared to Cade there was a marked difference.

It does look like Cunningham jaws with the refs a fair amount, which may not help his case, but his usage rate is up there with someone like Luka Doncic and he doesn’t get nearly as many free throws. Hopefully, this will change as he gets better at drawing fouls around the rim, as Cade getting to the line 7-8 times per game will make his life a lot easier.

He needs to take some cues from Alec Burks, who has drawn a heap of “crafty old man” fouls and is currently shooting two more free throws per game than Cade, which is ridiculous.

Cade Cunningham is committing a lot of stupid fouls

I don’t mind fouls when they come out of effort, but Cunningham seems to pick up 1-2 a game that are out of frustration. I agree that he is not getting calls on offense, but he can’t let that bleed over to the defensive end, as Cade has picked up frustration fouls in all three games so far after not getting a call. For such a smart player, Cade reaches a lot on defense and picks up ticks-tacky fouls that the team can’t afford, as they need him out there as much as possible.

After committing five in the first game, Cade fouled out of the second, but only picked up three in the win against the Bulls, though one of them was of the “frustration” variety.

Some of this is out of his control, and overall Cade Cunningham had been fantastic, but it would be nice for him to start getting a star’s whistle and to stop picking up dumb fouls that don’t help the team.

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