Over the years, Detroit fans have argued about their takes on the teal uniforms. One thing that was not up for debate, however, was the ugly night had by the Pistons defensively. Despite a career high from Cade Cunningham, the second year guard and crew ultimately fell to the Hawks 136-112. The defensive side of the ball still continues to be a problem for the Pistons, as they allowed 30+ points in each quarter. Atlanta was able to get 68 of their points in the paint, and shot 56 percent from the field. They were able to get whatever they wanted on the offensive end, and Detroit couldn’t do much to stop them. Detroit also only forced 7 turnovers, and were in the penalty for the majorify of the second half.
Pistons second unit continues to be an issue offensively
The Pistons are feeling the absence of Marvin Bagley and Alec Burks each and every game. And the way tonight went offensively for the second unit was a perfect showcasing as to why. Detroit was only able to get 19 points from their second unit, with 10 of them coming through 3 quarters. Their highest volume shot taker off the bench is Killian Hayes, who is currently shooting 16 percent on the season.
And Hayes, going 1-6 from the field tonight, continues to struggle on the offensive end. No other player on Detroit’s bench took more than 4 attempts from the field. If Detroit is wanting to close out games, and to be more competitive, it needs to start with production from the second unit. The starting unit (outside of Saddiq Bey) produced and did their job offensively. No matter how good Detroit’s young core is, if they can’t get more production from their second unit, it will be hard to win games on a night to night basis all season long.
Cade Cunningham’s electrifying performance
After Tuesday’s performance against the Washington Wizards, certain fans took to Twitter and expressed their concerns with Cade Cunningham. Isn’t it amazing what 72 hours and two games of basketball can do? The former number one pick finished with a career high 35 points from the field, and was flirting with a triple double. Cade would’ve likely gotten there if he hadn’t picked up his fifth foul in the middle of the third quarter. The Pistons weren’t able to recover when Cade went to the bench, and eventually the game became quickly out of reach. Although Cunningham has still not been able to get his game going from beyond the arc, Cunningham did his damage in the interior and the midrange.
If there is anything that’s been clear through 6 games, Cade Cunningham’s added muscle this offseason is paying off. Not only is he able to finish through contact, but he can bully guys now. He can get to his spots with ease and make smaller teams like the Hawks pay in the interior. If Cunningham can improve on his jumpshot, he will be far more of a threat from all three levels. However, the fact that he is having this type of production in the absence of a three point shot? That’s quite impressive.
Pistons host Stephen Curry and the Warriors on Sunday, still in the teal
The Pistons will get their chance to get their victory in teal again on Sunday night against the Warriors. The reigning NBA Champions come into town on the second night of a back to back, and feature Stephen Curry, Jordan Poole, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson. If Detroit is going to hope to improve defensively, it’s going to certainly be a challenge to do so against Golden State. Their perimiter attack is one of the most lethal in NBA history. And in addition, have a mixture of savvy veterans and young talent that make them a dangerous threat to repeat as champs. It will be a good test for the Pistons to see how they stack up against the reigning champions, and a chance to make a statement against the league’s best.
Featured Image Credit: David Reginek USA Today Sports