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Maybe not his best three-game stretch, but this might be Rodney Stuckey’s most meaningful run

Rodney Stuckey has played so well so far this season, even Patrick Hayes has to give him credit. After the Pistons fell to the Thunder, Patrick wrote:

Stuckey has played one of the best two-game stretches as a point guard and playmaker in his career.

When Stuckey followed that up with another strong performance against the Bulls, I began to wonder: Is this really Stuckey’s best three-game stretch?

The numbers don’t tell us everything, but they make for easy comparisons, so we’ll go with them.

In his career, Stuckey has had 210 three-game sets. Here are his totals from the last three games, with their rankings among Stuckey’s three-game stretches for his career in parentheses:

  • Points: 56 (28)
  • Assists: 23 (6)
  • Assist-to-turnover ratio: 5.75:1 (10*)
  • Rebounds: 13 (37)
  • Free-throw attempts: 23 (8)
  • True-shooting percentage: .608 (35)

*Doesn’t include a stretch that ended Jan. 12, 2008, when Stuckey had one assist and no turnovers.

To combine all these factors, let’s look at John Hollinger’s game score – again, for simplicity of comparison.

Stuckey has a combined game score of 47.4 the last three games, the 12th-best stretch of his career. For comparison, in his best run, Stuckey averaged 23.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds for three games in January 2009.

I think he’s done a good job defensively the last three games, too. Unfortunately, there aren’t good statistics available to measure defense.

Why this means more

It’s all subjective, but this probably isn’t Stuckey’s best three-game stretch. With 11 runs posting a higher game score, without further inspection, I’d guess at least one of them was better than the last three games.

But I think this is more meaningful than random few games in January. This is Stuckey excelling to begin a season.

He worked hard in the offseason, and it’s showing. Unlike many of his other runs, there at least appears to be an explanation for this one.

Maybe we’ll look back and realize this was just a random set of three games where Stuckey played well. He’s certainly had those before.

But because this is coming at the beginning of the season, I’m hopeful this is something more.


  • Nov 1, 20104:31 pm
    by Laser


    this is the most fun part about being me. seeing something most everyone agrees with and pointing out why it’s a misconception. here’s my take on stuckey:
    the numbers sure look good, and he’s shown visible improvement in certain important areas for the first time in his career. he’s taking better care of the basketball, making better decisions, and most significantly, finishing stronger when he penetrates. in short, he’s improved in all the areas where one might reasonably expect improvement from him. but he’s still lacking in the areas where we need him most.
    he’s still not the floor leader we need him to be. in two of our first three games, he was invisible at the end. when all we needed was one measly bucket to stop a run, he couldn’t deliver. and in the OKC game, he and gordon just took turns going one-on-five in the fourth quarter. he’s found a few teammates open at times, but there’s no flow to this offense. it’s almost entirely isolation basketball, and that’s no way to win. as a matter of fact, it’s a major indictment of the coach and the point guard. stuckey’s still not really getting anyone any easy buckets. every bucket we’ve gotten so far this season has been hard earned. tough to win basketball games without any easy buckets, and getting people easy buckets is what we need him to do.
    also, despite some good stat lines, he’s been outplayed by the opposing point guard three games in a row. he couldn’t contain any of them. if you wanted to argue that he matched our outplayed russell westbrook, i’ll take 2 extra assists, 2 steals and the W over 7 extra points on more efficient shooting and the L.
    again, this team didn’t even look good when we were building a 21 point lead! ben gordon looked good, but “the pistons” were a joke. and, frankly, opposing teams have been making us look better than we’ve been by settling for a lot of bad shots. not being forced into bad shots, mind you. settling for them. all stuckey’s done is shown long-overdue improvement in categories that should be his secondary concerns after having the team run smoothly and cohesively and helping his teammates get easy buckets.
    for my money, stuckey’s best basketball was one of those stretches where he either had two consecutive 13-10 games or had 2 out of 3. once he did it twice in that span, i thought we might have had something going. but i guess not…

  • Nov 1, 20105:02 pm
    by nuetes


    See I don’t expect stardom out of Stuckey, therefore I’ve lowered my criteria for assessing him. He doesn’t have to be the leader, or the vocal one, or the clutch one, he just has to be efficient and take advantage of what the other team gives him. I don’t expect him to make plays out of the ordinary, or create something when it’s not there anymore. Don’t be a liability. Be above average. He’s done that so far this season. Of course I could find some faults if I decided that Rondo, Nash, or Paul are the measuring sticks, but I don’t. I’ve developed arbitrary measures like 45% fg, 15 ppg, 6 apg things like that. If he’s meeting or exceeding those numbers he’s doing a good job. He can’t do it all, or be it all. Unfortunately this roster isn’t equipped with that player.

  • Nov 1, 20107:23 pm
    by Alan


    Over the summer, Dumars said of Stuckey something resembling, “he’s been good but sometimes good is not good enough.  We need him to be great.”
    This three game stretch has been the best “good” Stuckey has been.  If he were “great,” he would’ve protected a 7point lead against the Nets, found a way to win against the Thunder, and settled the offense to beat the Bulls.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy and he’s continued to improve but Detroit should be at least 2-1 if Stuckey were better than good.

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Patrick Hayes, PistonPowered Feed. PistonPowered Feed said: Maybe not his best three-game stretch, but this might be Rodney Stuckey’s most meaningful run: Rodney Stuckey has … http://bit.ly/9c2Vuq [...]

  • Nov 1, 201011:06 pm
    by detroitpcb



    i was at the OKC game and i certainly did not see Stuckey get outplayed. He dominated Westbrook for most of the night.

  • Nov 1, 201011:27 pm
    by Laser


    @pcb: for one thing, “most” of the night is nice when you come out with the W, because that’s the “most” that counts. stuckey managed one (1) 4th quarter assist and didn’t get any of his teammates involved. westbrook dished out three on his own to match the pistons’ entire fourth quarter assist total. generally, with that guy i’ll trade 7 points for 2 extra assists, but the bottom line for me is that the thunder ended the game playing team basketball. the pistons ended the game with nearly an entire quarter quarter of isolation plays. a sure way to lose 3/4 of your games with the personnel we have. if you think stuckey won the point guard battle there, so be it. but the other two games he got CRUSHED.
    @nuetes: see, i can’t get behind this philosophy that someone agrees with me on stuckey being who we think he is and also being happy with that. it comes down to being able to look past individual accomplishments and value and look at the bigger picture of the team as a whole. stuckey+gordon+rip= a disaster, and we’ve already got major, long-term, unmovable commitments to gordon and rip. so something has to give, and that something looks like stuckey. if joe can move one of the others, god bless him. but it hasn’t happened yet. the team is going nowhere with this current roster, and there are a lot of major pieces LOCKED into place, so we have to get creative and move guys who we can move. unless you think those three guards can succeed together, in which case i’ll believe it when i see it. which will be never.

  • Nov 1, 201011:51 pm
    by nuetes


    I have no problem using Stuckey as trade bait, if that is what your proposing. The thing if Rip is done for, so your leaving yourself with 1 of the 3 in the end. It’s only a matter of time before Rip is benched, and possibly just sent home to live out his days on the couch if he continues to play this badly. This is flat out unacceptable. He has been beyond bad. If it continues he’s rendered himself worthless. That leaves Stuckey, Bynum, and Gordon (scary, I know) as the backcourt, and Rip as an untradeable worthless cap albatross. Under this scenario I don’t know that I’m comfortable giving up Stuckey, then again under that scenario we are so screwed it wouldn’t even matter. Personally I value front court players much higher than back court players, so whatever it takes to get a premier front court guy, or a guy with that potential, I’m all for it.

  • Nov 2, 201012:51 am
    by Laser


    hyperbole about what to do with a player who doesn’t fit is nice, but the reality is that we owe him a lot of money over the next three years; money that counts against the cap that whole time. we’re not the new york knicks, and we’re not going to pay him not to play. if joe can unload him, fine. but if he can’t, stuckey or gordon has to go, right? i don’t think gordon’s contract is prohibitive, but you probably get a killer return on stuckey. it would have been nice to let the guy play his most natural position for us, but there are those two other contracts. and this isn’t working.
    and don’t underestimate rip’s abilities when working in a cohesive offensive system. start bynum alongside him and he’s instantly a good starting SG rather than dead weight. and he’s dead weight as long as he has to fend for himself and get hi own shot off the dribble. it’s just not his game.

  • [...] play and the likely impeding lockout. But with Stuckey having a superb preseason and an excellent start to the regular season (18.7 ppg, 7.7 asp, 4.3 rpg), it might cost Pistons brass more than they previously [...]

  • [...] play and the likely impeding lockout. But with Stuckey having a superb preseason and an excellent start to the regular season (18.7 ppg, 7.7 asp, 4.3 rpg), it might cost Pistons brass more than they previously [...]

  • Nov 2, 20103:15 am
    by Laser


    in a sense, joe missed out on a minefield of franchise superstars when he drafted darko. and then he fails miserably at building a team around the guy he’s trying to make his star, and he won’t make any moves to change course.
    i hate being taunted with the possibility of a stuckey-daye-monroe-jerebko pistons squad. it sounds like a good number of quality pieces on a good team. but for the next 3-4 years you have to include rip hamilton, ben gordon and charlie villanueva in that discussion. these are the guys you went out, paid a fortune for, and decided to commit to. it’s troubling that dumars leaves their names out of the discussion in the first place; you just gave out two of those contracts a year ago, and the other just two years ago. but once you add those guys, that’s almost a full rotation there. and we’ve seen how good that team can be (read: not very), even with quality players that provide what these guys need, specifically big ben, bynum, and max. and you’re not likely to get too much more help in the next three years. i mean, ben wallace has been their best player. the team’s dreadful. no coach to speak of either. and we’re looking at three years more of this if the organization keeps making excuses instead of changes. too much job security, i think. i hope ilitch doesn’t indulge joe and let him extend tayshaun…
    so i’m dying to see what moves, if any, get made by the deadline. joe said he had the chance for “lateral” trades, which i doubt is true. first, i think he’s just trying to create the illusion that his pieces are movable. second, i’d be surprised if there was a true lateral move i wouldn’t approve right about now. we’ve seen how bad this team is, and any change would be for the better.

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