Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham is struggling offensively to start the season.
The No. 1 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft is shooting 7-39 (17.9%) from the field in the three games he has played this season, marking the worst field goal percentage for a player with at least 30 attempts since the NBA/ABA merger in 1976.
Cunningham has particularly struggled from beyond the arc. He went 1-for-7 from three point range in Thursday’s 109-98 loss to the Sixers. He’s gone just 1-for-21 to start his NBA career.
Pistons head coach Dwane Casey didn’t seem worried after the young star’s performance against Philadelphia.
“His shot is going to fall. It’s a matter of time before he gets his rhythm with the 3-point shot,” Casey said after the loss.
Despite his shooting woes, Cunningham recorded a productive box score with 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists. He was 9-for-10 from the free throw line.
As Cunningham continues to adjust to the pace of the NBA, he made Pistons history as the first Detroit rookie since Grant Hill to record a double-double in three games or fewer. Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is the only other Piston to accomplish the feat since 1981.
Cunningham is also fresh off an ankle injury that caused him to miss training camp. He was injured during a Pistons practice ahead of the season and missed four of the team’s first five games.
“I feel like I’m pretty good with the ball in my hands. I haven’t been efficient with my first three games, but I’m getting more comfortable,” Cunningham said. “I didn’t have a training camp. The team is encouraging me to be me. I’m going to continue doing that until they fall.”
The Pistons are counting on Cunningham, a 6-foot-8 guard out of Oklahoma State, to help Detroit become a playoff contender. The team has made it to the playoffs just twice since 2009.
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