With 21 points in 25 minutes, Cade Cunningham was on form against the Suns. He was therefore pleased after his dunk on Jalen Smith, in the third quarter, by pointing his finger in front of him.
But who was he aiming at with this gesture? The Phoenix pivot, to chamber him, or the Detroit bench, or even the public? The rookie and the referees did not have the same interpretation of this action since the latter whistled a technical foul on Cade Cunningham.
It could have been just an anecdote, but as it was his second technical foul, the Pistons player was sent off. In the referees’ report, Kevin Cutler justified himself by explaining that Cade Cunningham had pointed to the defender, Jalen Smith in this case, to mock him.
« I had my loved ones behind the bench », explains the rookie to the Detroit Free Press. “Jalen Smith was between me and my loved ones. I could have appreciated the situation better. But I don’t like to make fun and usually I’m pretty cool after an action. I realized that after the action, but I didn’t expect to take a technical foul. »
As there were already 20 points difference, this exit had no influence on the fate of the meeting nor on the clear and clear victory of the 2021 finalists. It may only have deprived Cade Cunningham of a match in 30 points, which would have been the first of his career.
« The referee thinks he pointed the finger at the defender, but I didn’t see that, » commented on his side Dwane Casey. “I think he was targeting his teammates. I’ve seen worse to kick someone out. We are not in a position to complain and as we are a young team, we should not have this reputation. As long as we are not at this level, we keep quiet and we play hard. »