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Chase Stevens/Associated Press
Cade Cunningham's efficiency on the floor has not melted the mind. But so few players seem as completely in control.
It is second-nature to do pull-back and behind the-back dribble jumpers. Jalen Green was the opponent in Tuesday's viral version of this shot. The difficulty level was met by Jalen's poise and control throughout the sequence.
Already, defenders seem confused by what he can do once the ball is on the ground. He is physically strong enough to displace summer league opponents with his shoulder and can spin through traffic with clear intent. Although he has not attempted a free throw in two games, there is little to indicate that this is anything more than an anomaly.
His passing skills are not evident in his modest assist totals (4 in 2 games). His patience in traffic is admirable. At 6'8", the thickets of arms, doubles from bigs and thickets are not enough to blur his vision. When he is able to practice with his teammates, he will be able to drop more dimes and make fewer mistakes.
Cunningham's defense has been more impressive than any other. Although committing seven fouls against the Houston Rockets will not fly in the regular season's, his disruption seems to be easily translatable. He is able to use angles in passing lanes and not get burned backdoor. I am curious to see how many jumpers are he sending back in his rookie season.
It's not a lot of games to play in Vegas, and summer league is not meant to be terribly indicative. Cunningham's play is universal and has an impact everywhere. Even though Cunningham seems to be a greater floor-spacing threat than expected, he is capable of breaking down defenses at a slower pace and has shown some ability to change gears.
None of it is revelatory. It serves more to validate. Cunningham is as attractive and even more so than advertised.