The Detroit Pistons played their first full game without Cade Cunningham last night and it got off to a roaring start.
They took a 20-point lead in the 1st quarter and scored an incredible 47 points in one of their best starts of the season.
Unfortunately, it didn't last, as the Pistons scored just 33 points combined in the 2nd and 4th quarters and still ended up losing the game by 21 points, ho-hum.
It's not easy to allow a 40-point swing in a game, but your Detroit Pistons rarely do the easy thing. It's not easy to lose 28 games in a row, but Detroit did it, and are five games into trying to do it again.
The Pistons weren't winning with Cade Cunningham, so it's not like they can get worse, but we are going to get treated to all types of ugly basketball while he is out for the next 7-10 days before being re-evaluated, at which point we'll be told he'll be re-re-evaluated in another 7-10 days if tradition holds.
Not being transparent about injuries is the Pistons' strength, so they may as well lean into it.
I've got nothing but snark this morning, so let's run through some of the things we'll be seeing over the next 7-100 days with Cade Cunningham out.
Detroit Pistons: Life without Cade Cunningham will be even uglier
The next few weeks should be a real joy for fans of terrible basketball. Here are a few of the things we'll be treated to:
-Killian Hayes starting!
Hayes tallied four points in 31 minutes last night but did manage six turnovers, doing his part to make up for Cade's absence. He just forgot the scoring part. In the modern NBA, you want guards who can't shoot, that's key.
-Still no Ausar Thompson!
Did you think a 3-34 record might lead to the Pistons playing the 5th pick from last year's draft? Think again! Ausar got a whopping 14 minutes last night in a game in which the team could not get a stop and let up 131 points. The "we're going to build around defense" Pistons have allowed 133 points on average over their last six games, but Ausar isn't one of the Pistons' many elite shooters, so he can't play.
Hmmm, maybe not? He only played 15 minutes last night. What's going on? Shouldn't they be developing their expiring contracts? This cannot stand!
Anytime a rebuilding team can have a 34-year-old as their best player you know things are going well. Bogdanovic did have a good game last night, which means there is no reason to trade him. Did you see how close the Pistons were to winning a game with his help? If they just scored another 22 points last night, they had it!
-Joe Harris sightings?
DNP CD Joe Harris saw the floor last night and scored nine points in nine minutes. Who is this kid?
-Still no sign of the G-League
It's hard to see what you have in your two-way guys when you are an elite team fighting for playoff position as the Pistons are. You can't risk losing those Killian Hayes, Isaiah Livers, and James Wiseman minutes. Too important.
-More team play!
The Pistons spread the turnovers around last night, committing 21 overall, even without Cade Cunningham in the lineup. How can this be? I thought Cade was the only one who turned it over. The others have stepped up already, with six players committing at least two turnovers each last night. That is how you rally around your fallen leader!
-Still no Marvin Bagley III
To be fair, James Wiseman had more points (4) than combined turnovers and fouls (3) last night, so clearly earned those 24 minutes. Sure, Wiseman is horrible on both ends. Sure, he won't be on the team next season. Sure, MBIII had a decent start and the team is +5 with him in there. I'm not sure where I'm going with this but MORE WISEMAN!
-Monty Williams putting on a coaching masterclass
One thing that won't change is that Monty Williams is putting on a coaching masterclass this season and everyone thinks so.
Life without Cade Cunningham has begun and I for one can't wait to see what's in store.