Cade Cunningham after Pistons’ 11th straight loss: ‘We’re bad. We have to address that.’
The Detroit Pistons have dropped 11 straight and are bottom five in the NBA in net rating. Nobody expected the rebuilding Pistons to be good this season, but they have been worse than expected and worse than fans optimistically hoped for.
Cade Cunningham — who is averaging 21 points and 7.1 assists a game but has been historically inefficient getting there — is frustrated and let it out after a 142-113 crushing at the hands of the Raptors, via James Edwards of The Athletic.
“We got to be realistic about the situation. 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.”
At the top of the list of things that need to be addressed is the team’s competitiveness night after night, Cunningham said.
“Unacceptable. We’re the youngest team in the league, scrapping and clawing for everything. That should be the last thing that needs to be asked of us or talked about; how hard we’re competing. That should be a given. When we wake up in the morning, we should be like, ‘We got to get to the court.’ (Head coach Monty Williams) shouldn’t have to ask (about our competitive level). That’s something me and (Stewart) are also trying to stay vocal about. Everyone has to come with it.”
First-year coach Monty Williams, for his part, sees this as a teachable moment, as he said postgame via Omari Sankofa of the Detroit Free Press.
“My job is to teach and help guys break habits that they’ve had for a while. I can’t speak to what’s happened in the past, but when you see it you call it out and help guys grow.”
It was always going to take time, and while the Piston’s roster has talent on it — Cunningham, Jalen Duren, Isaiah Stewart, and standout rookie Ausar Thompson among them — it was always going to be a process. Cunningham has become one of the most divisive top prospects in the league because the eye test sees a very good player surrounded by bad ones, but the statistics — especially advanced ones — tell the story of a guy not cut out for his role. It’s hard to get a feel for where he fits because of the roster.
This may be a longer process than anyone expected.