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Chris Paul could teach Rodney Stuckey a lesson when Pistons face Hornets


Teams: Detroit Pistons at New Orleans Hornets

Date: Dec. 8, 2010

Time: 8 p.m.

Television: Fox Sports Detroit


Pistons: 7-15

Hornets: 13-7

Probable starters



  • Chris Paul
  • Marco Belinelli
  • Trevor Ariza
  • David West
  • Emeka Okafor

Las Vegas projection

Spread: Pistons +10

Over/under: 187

Score: Hornets win, 98.5-88.5

Three things to watch

1. Chris Paul’s tempo management

Nobody thinks Chris Paul is slow, right? Since Paul joined the Hornets, they’ve had the league’s 21st, 23rd, 26th, 28th, 15th (when Paul played just 45 games) and 26th. He’s a master at using his speed within a halfcourt offense.

I understand Rodney Stuckey wants to run more, but if I’m John Kuester, I tell Stuckey to pay attention to Paul tonight. If Stuckey learns to play quickly in the halfcourt, that could make everyone a lot happier.

2. Interior matchups

I think David West is a tough assignment for Jason Maxiell. I’ll be surprised if Maxiell can bother West’s mid-range jumpers. (Then again, I was surprised how well Maxiell handled Rashard Lewis.)

I still think Maxiell is best against low-post threats, even those with significant height advantages on the Piston power forward. Maxiell has the strength to push opponents off the block, and that would be helpful against Emeka Okafor.

Ben Wallace, who’s more comfortable on the perimeter than Maxiell, would probably have an easier time with West.

I’m curious whether the Pistons invert their power forward-center defensive assignments.

3. Charlie Villanueva’s return

Charlie Villanueva was set to return to the team tonight, according to Vincent Goodwill of The Detroit News. I haven’t seen any change in those plans, so I assume that’s still the plan.

Pregame reading


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  • Dec 8, 20108:22 pm
    by Fenton


    There’s no shame in watching a young team that’s bad. Watching a team that’s bad and old is downright demoraiizing.

  • Dec 8, 201011:17 pm
    by Stephen


    Must admit I’m rather baffled by McGrady’s usage against first Houston,then NO.
    Against Houston Pistons down 79-83 to Rockets w/@ 6+minutes to go and McGrady is pulled for starters. Understandable so far,normal rotation and starters had had some good end games recently. But against Hou the starters were getting killed.
    Anyhow,the Pistons only score 4 points the rest of the way. So why not sit McGrady for a 2-3 minutes,then bring him back as the team was doing fairly well w/ him on court?
    Very next night,Pistons down 16 or so against Hornets,and never seeming to be in game,the coach leaves McGrady on court til 3 minutes or so left in the game.
    My question is if McGrady can be left on court to help the youngsters in a semi-blow-out,why couldn’t he be brought back to help the starters when he was clearly motivated the previous night?

  • Dec 9, 201012:21 am
    by Laser


    that’s your complaint, stephen? SMH
    well, this was one for the books. bynum rolls out of bed and matches stuckey’s assist total in three minutes without turning it over. i know it was garbage minutes, but i got a kick out of that. stuck once again turned it over more time than he assisted. he’s cracked ten assists once this season (11), he’s gotten one (1) assist and two (2) assists twice each, three (3) assists three times, four (4) once, and five (5) twice. six assists is a pretty gray area, where you’d really like your starting point guard to do better, but that’s an acceptable low for a guy who’s got the ball in his hands for over 30 minutes. stuckey did that (6) twice too. as for truly respectable numbers, he’s got seven (7) six times and nine (9) twice. and those are his totals.
    so nine times out of 21 he’s done a good job facilitating, at least as far as the box score is concerned. that’s one more game than he’s collected four or less, and in those HORRID playmaking performances his average is a shade over two (15 total in 7 games). how could anyone consider this acceptable? somebody should put this guy to sleep.

  • Dec 9, 201012:22 am
    by Laser


    sorry, nine out of 22. don’t want to give him any undue credit. ship him to the glue factory.

  • Dec 9, 20102:46 am
    by Dan Feldman


    Laser, let’s go with your point that seven assists in a game is a “truly respectable number.” That’s certainly reasonable. As you note, Stuckey has met that target in 9-of-21 games (43 percent).

    In a group of each team’s leader in assists per game — so that’s 30 players — where do you think Stuckey ranks in terms of percentage of games with at least seven assists?

    I’ll look up the number, but I want your guess before I post it. Given your disdain for advanced stats, I think I can trust that you won’t look up numbers before guessing.

  • Dec 9, 20102:16 pm
    by Laser


    first off, it’s 9 of 22 (so just shy of 41%). hm. i dunno, maybe 20th? just a guess. but it’s not like that’s where the analysis should end; i bet he’s the leader in games with 3 or less with 8/22, and of those, i bet he has the most with 2 and 1. beyond unacceptable numbers for a notional point guard. and i don’t think there’s a guy in the league who’s been handed the franchise as a point guard and had a team that’s essentially built around him who’s got such bad numbers; this isn’t like the last piece of the puzzle where point play is an acknowledged weakness.
    so it’s hard not to hold these circumstances against stuckey. he just can’t be held to the same standard as the average player. it’s joe’s fault, but stuckey hasn’t helped by promising to step up and failing to deliver.
    also, as for the 9/22, take this for what it’s worth, but three of these were in the first three games of the season (all losses). since then he’s done it less than 1/3 of the time. probably not coincidentally, we’ve won 5 out of those 6 games. and since stuckey didn’t play at all in our first win of the season, the one win we have where stuckey assisted on fewer than 7 baskets (it was 6) was the game where the clippers handed us overtime on a sliver platter. the one game i can think of that SHOULD have ended differently but for one massive brain fart.
    this is a long way of saying we’re in the unenviable position of DEPENDING on stuckey’s ability (as it were) to make plays in order to win games. so if he manages a phantom percentage of games where he reaches a truly respectable number, it’s not going to change my mind about him for all the reasons stated above. other teams have the luxury of winning without their starting point guard getting his teammates easy baskets. we don’t. still, i’m curious what the number is. and don’t forget that it’s 9/22.

  • Dec 13, 20109:30 am
    by Dan Feldman


    Laser, Stuckey ranked 20th. Judging by your comments, I figured you’d peg him for 29th or lower. 20th isn’t worth fretting over. That’s higher than the Pistons rank in most categories.

    I also completely disagree that the Pistons depending on Stuckey’s passing ability. They run an isolation-heavy offense. His assists are a plus, but nothing more. I wish they meant more, but in this scheme, they don’t.

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