The offseason buzz for the Detroit Pistons has certainly died down a bit. Detroit is off to an 0-3 start, and top pick Cade Cunningham has yet to see the floor because of an injury.
With Cunningham hopeful to debut soon, can he provide a needed spark for the Pistons?
Cade Cunningham’s ankle injury persists
Right from the start of training camp, Cunningham was sidelined by an ankle injury. The incident occurred during the first week of training camp and has kept him out of the entire preseason and now all three regular-season games.
Cunningham didn’t travel with the team for their 3-game road trip that concludes Thursday against the Philadelphia 76ers. The hope is that the No. 1 pick will be able to join the team on Saturday when Detroit hosts the Orlando Magic.
In preparation, Cunningham has been taking part in practices with the Motor City Cruise, Detroit’s G League team. Pistons GM Troy Weaver stated he wanted to have Cunningham amp up his conditioning before making his season debut.
Next Detroit Pistons Game: Live NBA Odds
NBA Rookie of the Year odds growing larger
With Cunningham not on the floor, he is already seeing his odds in the Rookie of the Year race growing.
BetMGM Sportsbook had Cunningham as a +250 favorite to open the season. But now, Cunningham sits at +450.
Houston’s Jalen Green is the current favorite at +250, while Toronto’s Scottie Barnes is at +600.
Indiana’s Chris Duarte is seeing the biggest jump, as he sits at +750 after opening at +3500. Duarte is getting the most tickets at 23.0%, while his handle is 20.1%. Duarte is currently the biggest liability for BetMGM.
Green has the most handle in the race at 25.2%, while Cunningham is getting 10.4% of the tickets and 10.0% of the handle.
Injuries have factored into the award before. Malcolm Brogdon was the controversial winner in 2016-17, averaging just 10.2 points on the season over 75 games. Joel Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game, but didn’t win. The primary school of thought was that he appeared in just 31 games.
Last season, Charlotte’s LaMelo Ball appeared in just 51 games, but still managed to take home the honor by averaging 15.7 points, 6.1 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game. Anthony Edwards of Minnesota appeared in 72 games and averaged 19.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, but finished second to Ball.
Pistons could use Cade’s help
Although Detroit had a competitive 94-88 game with the Chicago Bulls at home in the season opener, the Pistons have struggled on the road.
Detroit lost by 15 to the Bulls in Chicago and then lost by 18 to the Atlanta Hawks.
The Pistons are now the only winless team in the league and are the only team averaging under 100 points per game. That figure comes by a wide margin as well, as the Pistons are putting up just 91.3 per contest.
DraftKings Sportsbook was listing the Pistons as a 10.5-point underdog at Philadelphia on Thursday. Detroit has a moneyline of +375 to win, compared with Philly’s -510.
Along with Cunningham being out with the ankle injury, last season’s leading scorer, Jerami Grant, missed Monday’s loss to Atlanta with an elbow infection. He also missed practice on Wednesday and was questionable for Thursday’s contest.
NBA wins total already dropping for Detroit
The Pistons didn’t have much of an over/under for wins to start the season. DraftKings opened them at just 24.5.
But following the 0-3 start, the Pistons have seen it drop a game to 23.5.
Detroit had just 20 wins each of the last two shortened seasons, but they have won at least 24 games in every 82-game season since 1993-94.
Already with long odds to win championships this year, Detroit currently sits at +100000 to win the NBA Finals and +50000 to win the Eastern Conference. They have the same odds (+50000) to win the Central Division.