Max Mandel's Blog

Max Mandel

Jan 28

Cunningham thrives on the dirty work

By Max Mandel Posted in: Blazers, DanteCunningham
After facing early deficits in each of the last two games, the second unit for the Portland Trail Blazers has proven to be key in helping the team get back into the game. While some of his impact does not show up directly in the stat sheet, Dante Cunningham has been prominent in helping his team comeback from double-digit deficits in each of the last two games.

One thing that makes Cunningham so important to this team is his mindset and the willingness to do anything that is necessary to help the team win.

"Just energy and coming out strong is something that I like to pride myself on," Cunningham said after the loss to Utah. "Whatever I have to do to get the team going, whether it is defending someone, getting a stop, getting a rebound or blocked shot, the dirty and hard work is what I like to do."

Being a rookie, Cunningham knows there is no guarantee that he will get an opportunity to play every game. With that mindset, he looks to make the most of every minute on the court.

"If I have to be out there for two or three minutes, and just run up and down and help get some rebounds and some stops, I'm happy to help the team as much as possible."

After allowing the Jazz to score 36 points in the first quarter and shoot 72.7% in the first half, the coaching staff demanded more energy from this team during the halftime break. However, Cunningham knows the team needs to bring a higher level of effort for all 48 minutes.

"It was definitely a little flat on our end, both offensively and defensively," Cunningham said of the first half performance. "It was one of those days where we came out and it just wasn't clicking. We came back in here and regrouped and went out there and played hard in the second half."

3 Comments

  1. DC definitely helps the team by getting some rebounds and just increasing the energy when he is out there! great Job!

    by RedRudy5 on 1/29/2010 9:18 AM
  2. We managed to snag some great rookies in P.Graph and Dante. Their energy and humor and defensive help are awesome! I think they are going to fit in great with the rest of the guys. They like to bring in the diiiiiiiiiiiiiiirty.

    by cstreet on 1/29/2010 5:25 PM
  3. Dante is a great addition to the team. He definitely seems to make the most of his time on the court.

    by trinity on 1/30/2010 10:32 PM
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