The Detroit Pistons got a surprise blowout win over the Oklahoma City Thunder with Cade Cunningham out of the lineup, the third time they have won this season without their best player on the floor.
It brought up some inevitable questions such as, do the Pistons play better without Cade Cunningham?
It has also brought into question the fit between Cade and Jaden Ivey, as both players have put up better numbers without the other in the lineup.
But the better question is whether the Detroit Pistons are using Cade Cunningham the right way to best utilize his skills as well as those of his teammates.
Cade Cunningham is more like Jayson Tatum than Luka Doncic
When Cade entered the league, he immediately drew comparisons to superstar Luka Doncic, mostly because they are big, smart point guards without elite athleticism.
The Pistons have mostly used Cunningham this way, running a heliocentric (the word of the week) offense around Cade and have gotten mixed results.
Cunningham turns the ball over a lot and gets few chances to play off the ball, where he can be equally effective, if not better.
Which begs the question: Should the Pistons be playing Cade Cunningham more as a point-forward than a pure point guard? Jayson Tatum is the best model, as he is a wing playing with two guards who can create in Derrick White and Jrue Holiday.
Cade and Tatum have a similar usage rate of just under 30 percent, so it's not like Tatum doesn't have the ball in his hands, but it's not his sole responsibility to initiate the offense. This allows him to attack from the wing when defenses converge, something we rarely see from Cunningham.
Cade and Tatum are not exact replicas by any means, as Tatum is bigger and far more athletic, but both are big players who can handle the ball and score from all three levels.
It's worth trying Jaden Ivey and Marcus Sasser more as primary point guards and allowing Cade to feed off of them instead of the other way around.
He can still be the team's biggest offensive weapon, but Monty Williams has to figure out more ways to use him, especially with Jaden Ivey on the floor.
Playing Cade more the way Boston uses Tatum may not only benefit Cunningham but his teammates as well.