Wednesday, January 26 2022

The wraps come off tonight.

Cade Cunningham will make his NBA debut against the Orlando Magic at Little Caesars Arena. The top pick in the 2021 draft has missed the first four Detroit/ Pistons games due to an ankle injury.

“He’s good to go,” coach Dwane Casey said.

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Cunningham, the team’s first No. 1 overall pick in over half a century, will play 20-25 minutes. He practiced with the G League Motor City Cruise while the team was on a road trip this week and then practiced with the team on Friday.

“Shorter bursts, shorter stints, got him on a minutes count,” Casey said. “Tell the fans don’t be chanting for Cade because the medical people will have me arrested if I play him over a certain number of minutes.”

Cunningham should provide an immediate jolt to an offense that has averaged 94 points and 40.8 shooting for the winless Pistons.

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Casey’s advice to the prized prospect was just to enjoy the moment. The head coach wouldn’t reveal during his pre-game press conference whether Cunningham would be in the starting lineup.

“He told me he’s been playing since he was four, so do what you’ve been doing since you were four,” he said. “Have fun, compete, don’t worry about mistakes, have a next play mentality. As adults, we understand he feels pressure but he shouldn’t. He should go out there, have fun, compete and let everything else take care of itself as he knocks off the rust.”

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Cade Cunningham, top 2021 pick, making Detroit Pistons debut

Source: Yahoo Sports

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