↓ Login/Logout ↓
Schedule/Results
↓ Roster ↓
Salaries
↓ Archives ↓
↓ About ↓

Yahoo!’s Kelly Dwyer: Rodney Stuckey is the 29th best (or is it worst?) point guard in the NBA

Here’s some analysis that’s sure to rankle PistonPowered founder/unofficial president of the Rodney Stuckey fan club Dan Feldman, courtesy of Yahoo!’s Kelly Dwyer:

Stuckey is what Stuckey is. He’s yet to find a balance between acting as a scoring point guard or passing point man, and the unfortunate truth behind those two aspects of his game is that he’s not particularly adept at either. Hardly the return Joe Dumars had in mind when he staved off rebuilding, re-signed Richard Hamilton(notes), and brought in Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva.

That blurb was part of Ball Don’t Lie‘s positional rankings, which has Stuckey 29th on the list of the league’s top 30 point guards. I actually agree partially with Dwyer’s assessment — Stuckey basically is what he is at this point. I just happen to think what he is is not worse than what Mike Conley (27th), Jarrett Jack (24th) or Ramon Sessions (22nd) are.

I’ve been a bit like a teenage girl in my coverage of Stuckey over the last couple years. I hate him. I love him. I hate him. I’m so confused. Now I’m at the point where I’ve matured more in my view of things. He’s not a perfect point guard by any stretch. He gets in the lane at will, but is a poor finisher. He’s only an adequate passer when he plays slower, but playing slower limits his best offensive trait, his quickness. He doesn’t have a reliable jump shot past 15 feet. Those are all things that I think the Pistons were banking on him improving when he was drafted, and he hasn’t really improved any of those things much.

But focusing on what he hasn’t become better at does overlook one area where he has shown improvement: defense. Stuckey is a strong and quick defender, and although as a unit the Pistons were terrible defensively last season, Stuckey did show the potential to become a potential lockdown guy on the perimeter if they can foster a belief in defense among other guys on the roster not named Jerebko or Wallace.

I also think his offensive numbers would’ve been better had the team been healthy. Often, Stuckey shot too much because he found himself on the court with three or four guys at a time who couldn’t really score. If you have one guy on the court who can get his own shot, the defense is going to figure that out and cheat, which often resulted in some terrible shooting efforts. A more talented lineup on the court will mean a more efficient Stuckey.

While he’s not the Chauncey Billups-in-the-making Joe Dumars may have been convinced he was getting, Stuckey is not completely devoid of PG skills. He’s not an unwilling passer. His court vision and decision-making often leave something to be desired, but he’s also not a ‘get-mine’ type of player. If he can make a play for someone else, he will.

The fact is, whether you believe Stuckey is teeming with potential or hopelessly miscast as a starting caliber player, the criticisms like those above are going to be out in force this season until he begins to shoot a better percentage and make smarter plays with the ball. Point guard or not, he’s the only option the Pistons have for the position. He can do enough PG-like things to show that he’s better than the 29th best player at his position, it’s just a matter of proving it for an entire season.

19 Comments

  • Aug 17, 20103:36 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    who was 30th? i can’t think of a lead guard in the world i wouldn’t take over stuckey. there are at least a handful of backup point guards i’d take over stuckey, including our own.
     
    don’t say stuckey is the only option the pistons have. it’s absurd. the only thing stuckey does better than bynum is “be six inches taller.” if you can’t unload rip, the smart choice would be to start bynum.

  • Aug 17, 20103:58 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    I’m posting the merits of starting Bynum later this week. I don’t entirely disagree. But don’t kid yourself — the Pistons would lose a lot defensively.

    Why the vitriol in all of your posts? It’s cool to disagree, but man. Every single thing you read here set you off or what?

    And Kyle Lowry was 30th. As far as lead guards on the list so far that I wouldn’t take over Stuckey: Conley, Sessions, Jack and Lou Williams.

    I want to see Stuckey surrounded by a healthy team for 30 games or so before I make a final judgment on his fit. We never got that luxury last season.

  • Aug 17, 20104:03 pm
    by bill

    Reply

    I think we’re running this guy through the ringer and it’s only been three seasons. Give the guy a healthy team for a season and see what happens.

  • Aug 17, 20105:31 pm
    by Alan

    Reply

    Stuckey is a beast of a guard and is a bully on the court.  He’s pretty good at getting to the line and his FT shooting has gone up every season too.  That being said, he hasn’t shown that he’s a PG.  True, the Pistons ask him to run half-court sets and he is probably better suited to a full-court game but he’s had time to adjust and improve.  Time is running out for him to show he is who we need him to be. 

    Everyone wants Rip to get moved but Rip is only worth a salary dump right now.  Stuckey, on the other hand, could be paired with a bad contract (Maxiel) for a player in return.  It’s easy to bash on Stuck as a PG but let’s not pretend he’s d-league material.  He definitely belongs in an NBA backcourt and will be for the better part of the next decade.

    Stuckey is on a short leash to start the season, IMO.  If Rip is here in 60 days, Stuckey may not be.

  • Aug 17, 20109:45 pm
    by AtotheK

    Reply

    is anybody here old enough to remember chauncey’s first five seasons in the league? if joe d thinks stuckey can develop into an all around pg, then i trust him. there were 5 or so impatient gm’s kicking themselves while watching the ’04 finals and i’m not gonna make any bold predictions about stuckey’s future development, but i’m not giving up on him quite yet. man, i’m glad i don’t live in michigan anymore, because it sounds like there’s a lot of negativity and pessimism surrounding my favorite teams. the pistons will regain there old form and their fans need to have a little patience and optimism while they re-load and get healthy. 

  • Aug 17, 20109:56 pm
    by The Rake

    Reply

    @AtotheK
    Stole the words right out of my  mouth about Billups.  I’m not predicting he’ll ever be as good as C-Bill, who was always my favorite Piston in recent years, but he has the chance to develop more if he sticks with it.  However, he hasn’t shown enough to please me and there is a chance, like with what happened with Chauncey, that we will see Stuck develop those skills in another uniform.  This is a big year for a number of Pistons, truly.

  • Aug 18, 20101:51 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    hayes- yeah i’m pretty much set off by anything relating to the pistons lately. the organization is being run into the ground as far as i’m concerned.
     
    a few guys set me off more than others. stuckey, in particular, is a major problem. he’s probably the single worst thing that’s happened to this team in the las five years, because he showed just enough promise to inspire the chauncey trade. i can’t stand all the talk about a lack of stability hindering him. this kid’s supposed to be the leader of the team. if he were cut out for the job, maybe the last two seasons wouldn’t have been quite so painful.
     
    he’s a joke. great at getting to the hole, terrible at finishing. and without a SHRED of interest in kicking out after he penetrates. makes bad decisions with the ball, looks totally lost running a team. the only thing he does well is score, and he’s not even very efficient. and for all his defensive potential, it’s not like he shuts anyone down. more often than not quicker guards just blow by him. i’ll take my chances with bynum any day.
     
    i also think i’m just plain set off by anything i read about this team that doesn’t seem concerned with the backcourt issues we’ve got. i don’t give a damn if tracy mcgrady has anything left in the tank unless rip’s gone. t-mac can rot for all i care if this team remains as it is. i don’t care how much work charlie v put in, or if austin daye is improving. this team is not going to go anywhere with this roster.
     
    freeing up backcourt minutes was a top priority (or at least should have been) before the summer, and all we’ve done is add a guy who can’t possibly figure into the team’s future. who cares if he pushes for minutes?? that’s not a GOOD thing. so what if he plays well and wins us a handful more games? so we win 30 games instead of 24. it’s at the expense of minutes for daye, summers, white, gordon.
     
    this team has nothing to play for this season. the very least dumars could do is move forward with the development of our young players. if we stick with this roster, joe is mortgaging the future of the team to sell a few tickets and jerseys. or worse, he actually thinks we can compete. god.
     
    most people are clamoring for rip and tayshaun to be traded. i think there is an URGENT need to move rip. he’s no good with all these combo guards, and forcing him to operate in this kind of system will NOT add to his value. he’s going to have a bad season, and it’s going to look like he can’t play anymore. when, really, he’s a victim of circumstance. and so are piston fans.
     
    joe said he wouldn’t make a move just to make it. and really i don’t think that’s what he’s done. what he’s done is making a move to increase interest in the team. but he’s left with a team that’s in worse shape than if he’d done nothing. so we win a few more games. it’s certainly possible. but we have a lot more to lose than to gain. i just can’t imagine how this team sees any success trying to accommodate all these guards.
     
    i used to take it for granted that the acquisition of t-mac meant a rip hamilton trade was imminent, because what kind of idiot could think all these guys had a fair chance at being effective together? but every day that passes worries me more that we’re actually going into the season like this. it’s depressing. and it keeps me from having any enthusiasm about this team at all.
     
    also, so you’re saying stuckey is the 25th worst lead guard in the league. great. how exciting. personally i’d probably take any guy on the list over stuck. kid’s had more than enough chances and should have been traded when his value was peaking. what a joke. instead, he’ll probably walk for nothing or we’ll match a rich offer sheet and i’ll be a chicago bulls fan or something.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ben Gulker, Steve Kays, Detroit Pistons Buzz, Patrick Hayes, TrueHoop Network and others. TrueHoop Network said: New @PistonPowered: Yahoo!’s Kelly Dwyer: Rodney Stuckey is the 29th best (or is it worst?) point gua… http://bit.ly/dDBriq #pistons #nba [...]

  • Aug 19, 20102:02 pm
    by frankie d

    Reply

    Stuckey is not a point guard.  Plain and simple.  It’s not his fault that Joe D insists on trying to force him into that role and the “Stuckey at point” fiasco is squarely on Joe D’s shoulders.
    Put him at SG, with a quality point guard next to him and you’d have an all-star quality SG.   Yes, he has some obvious holes in his game, but his inability to resolve those issues is mainly a function of the confusion in his role.   On the rare occasions when he has played with a point guard – like last year when they paired him with Chucky – and he didn’t have to worry about PG duties, remember,  he won NBA player of the week.  If you look at his numbers when he was paired with Chucky, they were excellent numbers.  Take a look at the stats from those games in early December of ’09 when Chucky played a lot.  It tells the entire story.  But stick him back in a role where he has to think about running an offense and playing the point, and you get the current, incompetent point guard who is rightfully viewed as one of the league’s worst.
    What we are seeing is a travesty.  A young guy’s career is being destroyed right before our eyes and the people in charge appear to be dead set on proceeding down that destructive path.
    And comparisons to Chauncey and his early career struggles is totally off-base.  Chauncey had always been a point guard.  In high school and in college.  He had a tough time adjusting to playing the position in the NBA.
    Stuckey, on the other hand, has always been a scorer, an off-guard.  Yes, he has PG skills – he is an excellent ballhandler – but he has never had the mindset of a point guard.  He is at his best when he doesn’t have to think about anything but beating his man in the many ways he can score.
    Adjusting to a certain way of playing a position – as Chauncey did – and learning how to play an entirely different position – as Stuckey has been doing – are two entirely different matters.    Imho, the evidence is as clear as it could ever be: Stuckey is an excellent scorer and a lousy point guard.
    I wonder how long it’s going to take the geniuses at the Pistons to figure that out.

  • Aug 19, 20104:13 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    +1
     
    one problem here is the concept of the “combo” guard, which is just another way of saying “shooting guard with good ballhandling skills,” but that’s a mile away from a point guard. stuckey’s game has plenty of flaws, but i give him a better chance of improving his shooting range and efficiency than suddenly developing playmaking instincts. he has major potential as a scorer and NO POTENTIAL WHATSOEVER as a distributor.

  • Aug 19, 20104:21 pm
    by Allen

    Reply

    Stuckey is a stud.
    He can shoot…he can run…he strong enough to push through the lane…and his defense is not half bad.
    Top 10 point guard in the league…No doubt.

  • Aug 19, 20109:44 pm
    by nuetes

    Reply

    Stuckey isn’t good, but I’m also not sure that he’s worse than some of the guys on that list. Conley, Jack, Hill, Holliday, or Williams to name some. None of those guys are good either though, but Holliday has some potential. I actually like Lowry a lot. To me he might be better than Stuckey but he’s never been put in a position to show it. He’s probably not worse, just a little older. I’m also not sure Stuckey could excel at SG. He might be better suited to play SG, but I’m not sure he’d be a good/great player at either spot. At SG he has to think less and just let the game come to him. Even though he can’t shoot he can still make more things happen off the ball via cutting through the lane. He also doesn’t seem to be a bad catch and shoot player, but when creating his own shot he struggles, which is normally how he’s getting his shot off. Too bad we already have a million SG’s. I wouldn’t be opposed to finding a real PG, but not just any pass first PG like Sessions. An actual good PG, but those are hard to find so Stuckey might be stuck in this role.

  • Aug 19, 20109:53 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    allen, you must be out of your f*cking mind.

  • Aug 20, 201011:34 pm
    by C-Foe

    Reply

    Okay, I had to get in on this discussion because it’s a good one. Everyone is correct, Rodney Stuckey is not a “pure” PG.  I believe Joe Dumars knew that when he drafted him. Dumars made several comments during that time that he saw the NBA game changing. He said that “execution” can only get you so much and when defenses take away the first and second option, you have to have someone who can create his own shot. “Execution” is what won the Pistons the 2003-2004 championship. Dumars thought the league was rewarding aggressive scorers, meaning players who can get to the basket and create their own shot, more. Players like Kobe, D.Wade, LeBron. So I believe Stuckey was drafted for that reason.
    I will concede the “running the offense” point and will not debate it. You all have seen him play more than I have. However, I think most players develop this skill with experience. I believe Chauncey really put the pieces together when Larry Brown was his coach. I agree with Nuetes, PGs like Magic, Isiah, Stockton, and Chris Paul are really rare. Also, don’t forget that all of them have had a stable environment around them. In 4 years, Stuckey has had 3 different coaches with 3 different systems. This is the first year he’s had the same coach. Let’s see if he improves at running Kuester’s offense this year, especially if there are not a bunch of lineup changes. To see that he averaged 4.8 assists/game given the fact he was part of roughly 9 different starting lineups is not too bad.
    Last note, I looked at the last 11 NBA champions and here are the players who led in assists/game for the regular seasion for those championship teams.
    2009-10 NBA Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant (5.0 / game)
    2008-09 NBA Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant (4.9 / game)
    2007-08 NBA Boston Celtics – Rajon Rondo (5.1 / game)
    2006-07 NBA San Antonio Spurs – Tony Parker (5.5 / game)
    2005-06 NBA Miami Heat – Dwyane Wade (6.7 / game)
    2004-05 NBA San Antonio Spurs – Tony Parker (6.1 / game)
    2003-04 NBA Detroit Pistons – Chauncey Billups (5.7 / game
    2002-03 NBA San Antonio Spurs – Tony Parker (5.3 / game)
    2001-02 NBA Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant (5.5 / game)
    2000-01 NBA Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant (5.0 / game)
    1999-00 NBA Los Angeles Lakers – Kobe Bryant (4.9 / game)

    Only 2 teams had PGs who were considered leaders at the time they won, Detroit and San Antonio. Ironically, D. Wade, a SG, had the highest assists / game average. The common item with all of these champions is that each player above also had an all-star caliber player at the PF and/or C spot.

     

  • Aug 21, 20109:26 pm
    by Jordan

    Reply

    Rodney Stuckey has as much potential as any top five lottery pick. He is improving in almost every category of the game. I believe that in the future he will be in the same category as Derek Rose, Monta Ellis, and other great all around scoring PG’s. Just give him a chance with a healthy team.

  • Aug 22, 20102:59 am
    by nuetes

    Reply

    jordan – in what area of the game is stuckey improving exactly? not his shooting (lower % in 10 than 09), not his passing (lowers assists and assists/to in 10 than 09), not his wins score/produced (lower in 10 than 09), and not his defense (lower d-rating in 10 than 09), so where is the improvement? he had a lower assist % yet a higher usage rate in 10 than 09. I don’t see improvement in any area of his game yet you see improvement in almost all of them?

  • Aug 25, 20101:38 am
    by Michael

    Reply

    Stuckey doesn need to work on consistency on his game

  • Sep 1, 20101:05 am
    by Laser

    Reply

    @c-foe: 1) all of those teams you listed had a superstar or more (with the notable exception of the pistons. but they had chauncey and ben who were star-like offensive and defensive leaders, respectively). 2) it’s not ironic that wade led everyone in assists; the ball was in his hands about 90% of the time. none of the teams on that list won the championship with less. it would have been surprising if anyone collected more assists than wade.
     
    @jordan: i’m just going ahead and assuming you’re just adam. suffice it to say your bogus, unsupported opinion is of use to no one. nuetes just ate you for breakfast and sh*t you out.

  • Sep 7, 20101:59 am
    by C-Foe

    Reply

    @Laser:  1)  Agreed, all of those teams did have at least one superstar (some would debate whether Rasheed was a superstar before he joined Detroit).  However, the superstar wasn’t the starting PG (I agree with your point about Chauncey being an offensive leader as opposed to a superstar at that time).   The common thread was that in recent years the team that ultimately won the championship had great production from either the PF or the C spot.
    -> LA – Shaq,  San Antonio – Duncan,  Detroit – Rasheed, Miami – Shaq,  Boston – Garnett,  LA – Gasol.
    Depending on how you view Rasheed and Gasol, you could argue that all of those teams had a superstar at the PF or C spot.
    So to make a long story short, my post was to show that having a statistically highly rated/ranked PG does help to win games and get a team into the playoffs, but it is not a necessity for winning a championship.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your Ad Here