The Pistons’ home opener on Friday night was a blend of the familiar and new. They lost to the Hornets, which evoked memories of their own near-wins from last year’s season.
The “cade cunningham stats” is a player that was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the 2018 NBA Draft. He had a disappointing debut with only 8 points and 4 rebounds, which evoked memories of a draft bust from the past.
On Saturday night, Pistons fans finally got to see their No. 1 overall choice in action, but they couldn’t have been overjoyed with what they witnessed. Cade Cunningham scored two points on 1-for-8 shooting in his NBA debut after missing the first four games of the season due to an ankle ailment.
Cunningham’s lackluster performance brought back thoughts of one of the worst draft failures in recent memory: Anthony Bennett.
Cade Cunningham had a rough start with the Pistons.
Cunningham made his NBA debut on Saturday in the Pistons’ 110-103 victory against the Orlando Magic, after missing the whole preseason and the first four games of the regular season. Despite their team’s first victory of the season, Pistons supporters were left with a bad taste in their mouth after the game.
Cunningham struggled offensively throughout the contest, finishing with two points, seven rebounds, and two assists in 18 minutes. Only one of his eight shots was successful, while he missed all five of his 3-point efforts throughout the game.
Cunningham’s Saturday night wasn’t all horrible, either. In his debut NBA game, the youngster stood out on defense, making a spectacular hustle play for a steal in the first quarter that brought Detroit fans to their feet.
The Pistons, on the other hand, would have like to see a stronger shooting performance from their No. 1 choice.
Cunningham joins Anthony Bennett, a disastrous draft flop, in making his debut.
Jalen Suggs of the Orlando Magic is defended by Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons | Nic Antaya/Getty Images
Nobody wants to be compared to Anthony Bennett in the NBA. In his career, the No. 1 overall choice in the 2013 NBA Draft averaged only 4.4 points per game and only lasted four seasons in the league.
Cunningham’s debut on Saturday, though, brought up memories of Bennett’s eight years ago.
Cunningham’s two points in his NBA debut against the Magic were the fewest by a No. 1 choice since — you guessed it — Bennett in 2013. Bennett also contributed two points in his Cleveland Cavaliers debut.
Cunningham has a long way to go and a great career ahead of him, but this isn’t his ideal start.
There’s no reason to be concerned.
It’s easy to overreact to one game and conclude that Cunningham will follow Bennett’s career path to obscurity, but that won’t be the case in the future. The youngster is still mending from a sprained ankle he sustained during training camp, and first-game anxieties are understandable for young players who are surrounded by such high expectations.
Cunningham told reporters after the game, “I believe it was nice.” “Coming in, I just want to be able to make some plays off the ball and grab some rebounds.” In terms of defense, I felt like I was in good shape. And, to be honest, those were the instances when I really wanted to show myself that my ankle was straight and that I could move, guard, and do everything else. So now that I’ve gotten rid of all my nerves, I’m free to play.”
Cunningham’s debut is likely to be an aberration in an otherwise thrilling season.
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