DETROIT, Michigan – The wait is over.
A new era of Detroit Pistons basketball is officially underway, as No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham will make his debut Saturday against the Orlando Magic, coach Dwane Casey announced before 7 p.m. ET Alert.
Cunningham missed the entire preseason and the first four games of the regular season due to a sprained ankle suffered during training camp. He performed team drills on Friday before being cleared to play.
His first game marks 40 years after franchise legend Isiah Thomas made his Pistons debut.
“I hope everyone doesn’t come out and put tremendous pressure on like this young man is coming out to save the day because he isn’t, even though he’s a great young player,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said after practice. Friday. “I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on him. I want him to go out and play basketball every time he goes out and let the game come to him.
“We are not 0-4 thanks to Cade Cunningham,” he added. “It’s 0-4 thanks to us and there are things we have to do better and spend more time in that situation against really good teams.”
Detroit is looking to avoid the first 0-5 start from 2012-13.