Cade Cunningham knows the Detroit Pistons are a bad team. The franchise is currently on an 11-game losing streak. Even the experienced hand of head coach Monty Williams has been unable to change the team’s fortunes. Detroit has been stuck in a rebuilding phase for multiple seasons and considering the talent at their disposal, they should be performing better.
The former first-overall draft pick made his feelings clear when speaking to the media following the Pistons’ loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday.
“We got to be realistic about the situation,” Cunningham said. “It’s hard to just be like, ‘We’re good, we’re good,’ you know what I’m saying? Because we’re bad. We have to address that. We have to address what we’re not good at. Address it with not only our words but on the court, in the huddles.”
As the youngest team in the NBA, Detroit was expected to struggle. It takes time for talent to develop and become acclimated to the physicality and travel associated with playing in the league. Yet, an 11-game slide isn’t considered acceptable for any team, regardless of where they’re at in their roster construction.
Cunningham is viewed as an elite talent. He’s got consensus All-Star and All-NBA potential and has flashed his upside since entering the NBA. In Detroit, the third-year guard is getting all the minutes he can handle, which should help expedite his overall growth as a player.
In the 14 games he’s played this season, the Oklahoma State product is averaging 21 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 7.1 assists, shooting 40.4% from the field and 31.4% from three-point range.
The Pistons have their work cut out if they want to turn their season around. Nobody is expecting them to challenge for a playoff place, or even to chase the play-in tournament. However, they are expected to be competitive on a nightly basis. After all, that’s the most basic requirement of any young and developing professional sports team.