Pistons news: Cade Cunningham and the 800 lb. gorilla

Dec 30, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA;  Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) and guard Cade
Dec 30, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons forward Bojan Bogdanovic (44) and guard Cade / Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

You might want to sit down for this news: Your Detroit Pistons won a basketball game!

After tying the all-time NBA record losing streak at 28 games, the Pistons finally broke through (barely) against the Toronto Raptors. Sure, the Raptors were shorthanded on the second game of a back-to-back, but a win is a win and the Pistons will take it.

After nearly two full calendar months of losing, the Pistons had a monkey the size of King Kong on their backs, so even though this one win doesn't change anything, the team must feel 800 lbs. lighter today.

The streak brought a lot of unwanted negative attention to a young team, so hopefully, now that it is over, the Pistons can play without feeling like they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.

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Look, they are still the worst team in basketball, still need to make big changes and still have a long way to go, but you can't get to two wins before you get to one, so they had to start somewhere.

One thing did become clear during all of this: Cade Cunningham is a star.

Cade Cunningham put in a star performance vs. Toronto

Cade has been spectacular of late, making the star turn we were all hoping for this season.

But last night was a classic star performance, as Cade didn't have his best stuff, but just kept grinding, found ways to get to the rim and the line and ended up with 30 points anyway. He added 12 assists, and most importantly, zero turnovers in the win.

Cade hit two big shots in the clutch, was engaged on defense and took everything the Raptors threw at him in stride. He has really come into his own over the last six games, in which he is averaging 32.5 points, 8.2 assists and 5.3 rebounds.

And everything he is doing is sustainable, as he's mostly getting it done in the paint and mid-range, not relying on 3-point shots as much and the game seems to have slowed down for him even more. We're seeing less indecision with the ball, fewer turnovers and fewer answers from opposing defenses as Cade imposes his will on them.

Cunningham has also stepped up as a leader during all of this. It's him who takes the podium and blame night after night, it's him addressing the team, it's him coaching them up and encouraging them during the games.

If there is one good thing that has come from this streak, it's that it showed that Cade is a leader and he is "that guy." Now they just need to build the rest of the team around him.

Hopefully, 2024 will bring a renewed spirit and energy to this team. One win isn't going to change anything on its own, but it is a start, so let's hope it leads to a few more.