Tearing down the Detroit Pistons
For the first time last night, I saw Cade Cunningham look like he didn't want to be there. He was dead behind the eyes, had no juice and his body language was awful. His shoulders slumped with every turnover and missed shot.
Don't get it twisted, some of this is on him. He's been a turnover machine and hasn't made the leap in efficiency we were hoping for. Gee, I wonder why? Has any team done a worse job of building around their key player than the Detroit Pistons?
We are in year three of Cade and still the team has no shooting, no two-way wings, no skilled bigs, no secondary scorer or any of the types of players who would best complement Cade.
We have no idea if Cade can be "Him" because the team around him is so bad and poorly constructed that it is making him worse. People have compared Cade to Luka and talked about how Luka's early teams were never this bad. No s***! Go look at the rosters! Even the worst teams Luka was on always had a few veterans who could actually contribute. He never played with a team full of guys who were his age or younger, as Dallas was trying to win games, not tank like the Pistons.
The losing culture is affecting Cade Cunningham, and if you think trading him is going to help, think again. The Pistons would get 50 cents on the dollar at best and then we'd have to watch Cade go be a superstar on another team.
If he is the guy, the Pistons have to start acting like it, which means replacing most of this roster with players whose primary attribute is "They help Cade." That means getting some shooters, forgetting about the "Bad Boys" and acting like the only way Detroit can win is by playing defense. Yes, defense matters, but look around the league, all of the top teams are the ones who can score and have dynamic offensive players.
I feel bad for Cade, as I know he wants to win and bring success to Detroit, but he's not been given the tools to do it and it is sucking the life out of him night after night as he kicks out to teammates who can't make open shots, as he perfectly sets up a big only to watch him fumble the pass out of bounds.