Are Pistons Kid Cunningham the obvious heir to the throne of DeMar DeRozan?

Detroit Pistons Protect Kid Cunningham on heater. There is no other way to put it.

The 21-year-old has scored several sets over the past week, and efficiently, too. It’s a far cry from the first week and a half of the season when enthusiastic fans began to ponder whether the 2021 No. 1 pick really is the man for the job as Detroit looks to find its way back toward relevance.

Over the last four games, Cunningham has averaged 27.7 points per game while shooting 49% from the field, a much better improvement from his 18.5 points per game over shooting 36% over the team’s first four games. The difference lies in the choice of his shot. During this last stretch, Cunningham thrived as a drag leader within the arc. Since October 26, Cunningham has averaged 10.3 draw attempts per game and a shooting 58.5 percent (!) on those attempts. Both are driving NBA On this stretch, according to NBA.com, with Chicago‘s Demar DeRozanwho is arguably the most popular mid-range scorer of the past decade, placing second with 10 pull-ups per game and 50% shootout.

Is Cunningham the obvious heir to the DeRozan throne? It may be.

“We had one of the greatest middle class shooters in DeRozan,” current and former Pistons coach wild birds Coach Dwayne Casey said last season. “We had a number for him. There will be a number for Cade because he is a mid-range shooter. But there is still a number that you have to stick to to make sure your entire team is efficient.”

You wouldn’t blame Casey if he only allowed Cunningham to eat mid-range attempts at his shot spectrum (although that’s unrealistic) because he was so impressive. Since beginning his scoring career, Cunningham has attempted 12.1 field goals per game between 5 and 19 feet and has dropped more than 50 percent of those shots, according to NBA.com.

Much has been made about how smart Cunningham is. He’s a big reason why the Pistons made the not-so-easy choice of taking him first in the 2021 NBA Draft. So far this season, Cunningham’s true on-the-ground intelligence has been evident through his shift in picking, as well as his ability to look in the mirror and recognize points his weakness.

For example, the clip above is from the second Pistons game of the season. Cunningham turns corner, tries to be patient, not wise, challenges 7ft Mitchell Robinson On the edge. These types of plays were a popular theme through the first four games in Detroit. Not the quickest bouncy player, Cunningham would often try to challenge larger defenders in paint or finish length without much advantage. This process was part of the reason Cunningham only fired 38 percent from the field in his first four games. He hit his shot multiple times in the match.

This clip is from Losing Nail Bites on Monday to Undefeated Milwaukee Bucks, a game in which Cunningham scored more than 25 points for the third time in his last four games. Improvement in recognizing day and night of passages against New York Knicks.

Once again, Cunningham turns the corner after the screen and remains patient, but instead of trying to defy the fall Giannis Antikonmo At the edge, he stays more patient, dribbling the ball and shooting over the smallest Grayson Allen.

Patience and manipulation here are wonderful. Even more impressive, however, is Cunningham’s ability to realize he likely won’t win an over-the-edge battle with Greek Freak. This admission was the biggest difference in Cunningham’s game over the past week.

Another big difference that Cunningham has shown recently is improved decisiveness. Early in the season, he was often caught dribbling, perhaps because he either didn’t have the confidence to attack the edge because his shot was blocked or he felt he shouldn’t make the mid-range attempt.

This is no more.

Cunningham was descending here and had made up his mind before entering the 3-point arc. This attempt above came in Sunday’s win over Golden State Warriors, with Cunningham already in Sicko mode for the past few games. Cunningham is confident and decisive is the reason why he can get a clean shot on a bigger scale kevon looney. The huge guy in The Warriors must be ready to shoot, drive, or knockout as he advances to start the switch. Cunningham already knew what he was going to do, which is why the attempt doesn’t go awry.

This split second makes a huge difference in this league.

This is another example of the high IQ displayed by Cunningham in recent games.

Once again he has the humility to understand that he will not win a battle with him Atlanta Hawks Big man Onyeka Okongwu On the edge. Therefore, after rejecting a file Isaiah Stewart Screen, Cunningham gets to AJ Griffin On his left hip, he protects him from the ball. At the same time, he realizes that Okongwu is coming to disrupt his shot attempt as he approaches the edge. Cunningham, cleverly, reaches for a two-legged jump right out of the paint and puts on a float. It’s just a wonderful self-awareness and understanding of the situation.

At this point in his career, Cunningham clearly feels more confident with his shot to jump inside the arc rather than outside it. However, his ability to look in the mirror and understand that he wouldn’t win many fights against the NBA seniors at the edge has been his biggest growth over the past week.

It was better because of it, and believe it or not, the pistons were.

(Kid Cunningham Photo: David Regenek/USA Today)

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