Friday, April 19 2024

Detroit Pistons guard Cade Cunningham suffered a left knee strain during the second quarter of Sunday night’s 131-114 loss to the Denver Nuggets and was later ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Cunningham, 22, ended his outing with three points, three rebounds, and three assists in 11 minutes of action. The third-year guard missed the majority of last season with a left shin fracture that required surgery.

The first overall pick in the 2021 draft has appeared in every Pistons game this season. Through 36 starts, he’s averaging career highs of 22.8 points, 7.3 assists, and 34.5 minutes per game.

In addition to averaging 4.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals per contest, the guard’s also shooting career bests of 44.9% from the field, 33.5% beyond the arc, and 87% at the foul line.

The Oklahoma State product currently ranks 19th in points (822) this season, seventh in assists (261), and 12th in field goals (307). Plus, he’s 12th in minutes played (1,241), second in turnovers (136), and 14th in usage percentage (30.1%).

Last season, Detroit went 3-9 with Cunningham and 14-56 without him.

Detroit Pistons’ Cade Cunningham (left knee strain) to undergo MRI, could miss his first game of the season

In Detroit’s 130-124 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 18, 2023, he recorded a career-high 43 points, five boards, seven assists, three steals, and one block in 45 minutes played.

Cunningham scored 43 points on 16-of-24 (66.7%) shooting from the floor, 3-of-5 (60%) from 3-point range, and 8-of-9 (88.9%) at the line. His previous career high of 35 points was notched last season against Atlanta (Oct. 28, 2022).

Furthermore, in Detroit’s 113-109 loss against the Golden State Warriors on Friday, he missed five of his first seven shots and entered halftime with nine points on 11 shot attempts.

Cunningham came out on hot in the second half, scoring 21 points — including 15 in the fourth quarter on 6-of-6 shooting to finish with 30 points on 13-of-22 (59.1%) shooting.

“Cade just has an ability, even if he doesn’t play as well as he wants to in the first half, I told the coaches at halftime he’ll turn it on,” Pistons coach Monty Williams said after the game. “That’s just what he did in the second half.”

On Sunday, Detroit fell to 1-19 away from home and 3-33 for the season. The Pistons’ only road win of the season was picked up on Oct. 27 at Charlotte.

With this latest loss, Detroit is now on a four-game skid. The Pistons dropped to 0-19 against teams above .500 as well. Not to mention, the club is 0-3 as a favorite and 3-30 as an underdog this season.

The Pistons host the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday night. Detroit is 0-10 in its last 10 meetings with Western Conference teams. The Pistons are also 1-19 in their past 20 contests.

Source: Basketball Insider


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