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The Big Question: Rodney Stuckey

With a cloud uncertainty thunder-storming, snowing and hailing on the Detroit Pistons, we wanted our Pistons preview series to capture that. So for each Piston, Patrick Hayes and I will identify and explain what we each see as the biggest question surrounding him entering the season.

DF: How will losing 10 pounds in the offseason affect Stuckey’s game?

In three years, Rodney Stuckey has yet to turn the corner. Several reasons have been offered, but none of them have involved his weight (at least that I’ve heard).

Regardless, Stuckey lost 10 pounds this summer. I have absolutely no idea how this makes him better. (I’m not saying it won’t. I’m just saying I don’t see how it will.)

I keep hearing about playing for the same coach two years in a row making a big difference, but I don’t buy that. I just don’t think it’s that big a deal in the NBA, where players switch teams mid-season and contribute the next night.

So, if Stuckey takes the next step, I’m not sure what the reason will be. Maybe it will be the weight loss.

PH: Will he make people want to play with him?

I’m sure Rodney Stuckey’s teammates like him just fine. But the thing that struck me most about his “need to be a vocal leader” comments from media day was my belief that great point guards don’t need to let everyone know they are going to be the vocal leader.

People want to play with Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Steve Nash, Rajon Rondo, Derrick Rose and Chauncey Billups. Those guys do one thing despite their very different styles: they make their teammates better. Some of them, like Rose, Westbrook and Rondo, aren’t pure points. Some of them love to run (Nash, Paul) and some are masters of the halfcourt (Williams, Billups). But whether it’s through their ability to find open teammates, or their ability to draw the defense with their scoring ability, or their ability to lock up the other team’s best backcourt player, all of them do something unique that creates opportunities for teammates to excel.

To this point in his career, Stuckey doesn’t do that. If he finds what his “it” is, something that he always does that makes him a unique player, he won’t have to go around telling people about his intentions to be a leader anymore.

6 Comments

  • Oct 27, 201012:21 pm
    by detroitpcb

    Reply

    the most significant stat of the preseason (other than Austin Daye’s overall performance) was the amount of times Stuckey got to the line. He is an established player now and should start getting his share of the calls from the officials. If that carries over into the regular season, it will make a huge difference in his scoring efficiency. Stuck is a two but for at least this year, he will still play out of position. But i expect him to have a very good year

  • Oct 27, 201012:21 pm
    by Matt A

    Reply

    I think its a bit unfair to judge him by the standards of Paul, Williams, Nash, Rondo, Rose and Billups. Those guys are elite point guards and whether or not Stuckey has the potential to be that kind of player its unfair to judge him by that standard. Stuckey may never be an elite point guard but putting better players around him may take enough of the pressure off him to make his production and play more acceptable.

  • Oct 27, 20101:04 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @Matt A:
    I will say this: the team judged him by that standard by jettisoning one of those players (Billups) because they felt Stuckey would be ready to take over.
    But my point wasn’t to compare him to those guys talent-wise. My point was to compare the leadership. You would be hard-pressed finding any of those guys talking about being leaders. They just do it. To this point in his career, Stuckey has talked about it a lot.

  • Oct 27, 20101:47 pm
    by ds

    Reply

    What I appreciated with Stuckey in the preseason was that he’d attack, but pull up and shoot a fairly open shot that usually went in – much better than last year when he mostly tried for contested layups. It would be great if he could pass out of the paint a bit more as well – but it certainly seemed like an improvement over last year.
    This is my first post, I’m a fan of the site – thanks for giving me something to read during the off-season! I’m sure glad the season is finally starting – sure wish we could watch Daye AND JJ develop…

  • Oct 27, 20101:59 pm
    by Patrick Hayes

    Reply

    @PCB and ds:
    You guys are both right. Stuckey got to the line a ton during the preseason, and ds, he shot 47 percent overall, which is very good for him compared to his career averages.

  • Oct 27, 20105:03 pm
    by Laser

    Reply

    @pcb: “for at least this year” stuckey will play out of position?? uh, well unless rip or gordon is going anywhere (they aren’t) you can bet bet he’s going to play out of a position as long as he’s a piston.
     
    @matt: who are these “better” players you suppose we should surround stuckey with? he’s supposed to be the point guard; he’s supposed to make his teammates better. and you’re looking at an inflexible roster here. where the heck is all this talent that’s suppose to help stuckey going to come from??
     
    @everyone: nobody ever doubted stuckey is a scorer in this league. i guess we’ll have to see if this “stuckey vs. the world” offense he runs can win more than a handful of games. i mean, imagine how good stuckey could be with darren collison feeding him. or maybe don’t imagine that, it’s too painful…

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