Sports

Pistons No 1 picks Cade Cunningham over early-season criticism, ‘bankruptcy’ talk: ‘That’s what I took note of’

Cade Cunningham, NS Detroit Pistons‘#1 overall pick in 2021 NBA Drafts, got off to a rough start in his rookie campaign. An ankle injury kept the guard out for most of training camp and the Pistons’ first four games. Then, when he came on, he couldn’t take a shot.

Cunningham has the lowest-scored debut on the top pick overall since Anthony Bennett, picking up just two points after shooting 1/8 from the field with Orlando Magic. It didn’t get much better over the next few games. He went 7 of 39 from the field in his first three games, to score worst shot rate of any rookie with at least 30 attempts across three games since NBA/ Incorporated ABA in 1976.

Sure, it’s a pretty specific set of numbers, but it makes the point. It’s 2021 and social media is social, which leads to some weird criticism. So much so that Cunningham admitted he heard the noise. Through his rookie diary in The Undefeated:

I didn’t pay too much attention to what was being said after I got off to a slow start. I won’t let it defeat me or change my way of thinking. But I certainly know what is being said, and I try to move accordingly. I feel like someone would be a liar if they said they didn’t know what was being said about them. But at the same time, I don’t base myself on how I derive other people’s opinions from the outside. I’m the type of person that gets better every day, and I think that’s why I have a quick change.

A lot of people have tried to say that I am a bust. I think that’s pretty funny in my eyes. That’s what I noticed. Like: ‘Okay. Well, we’ll have to see about it. ‘ That caught my eye. I did nothing without tripping. I won’t say I respect that, but I certainly heard.

Just like Cunningham himself, most serious analysts and true fans of the game never worry. And since that slow start, he’s shown why he’s the #1 consensus pick in the months leading up to the manuscript.

In the last seven games, Cunningham is averaging 16 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. And while his shooting is still a bit poor – 41.1% from the field and 30.9 % from the ground – it has improved significantly from his first few games.

During that time, he also made history by becoming Youngest player in NBA history for a game with 25 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five 3s executions. He then racked up 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in that dramatic game against Los Angeles Lakers became the youngest player in Pistons history to set a triple record.

Cunningham was the first choice because of his ability to impact the game in every area, while making the people around him better. That’s why his slow start is never a big deal, and why he will have a long and successful career in the league.

In the first month of the season, he was fourth in goalscoring, fourth in rebounds, second in assists and first in steals among all rookies. Meanwhile, the Pistons are 0-5 without him and 4-7 when he is in the lineup. And that doesn’t even require playing all that well early on. Just imagine what it will look like when he’s actually gone.

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https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/pistons-no-1-pick-cade-cunningham-on-early-season-criticism-bust-talk-thats-something-i-took-note-of/ Pistons No 1 picks Cade Cunningham over early-season criticism, ‘bankruptcy’ talk: ‘That’s what I took note of’

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