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Appreciating Rodney Stuckey’s ability to get to the line

Over the weekend, I happened across this comment from one of the brain dead twitter troglodytes who get weird satisfaction out of trolling Vincent Goodwill. This person was lamenting the fact that Rodney Stuckey‘s “only” talent is drawing contact, as if that is not a vital and rare skill in the NBA. Thankfully, Rob Mahoney of Court Vision is around to sing the praises of Stuckey’s free throw attempts:

The one thing Stuckey does at any remarkable level is an unspectacular basketball act that few fans fawn over or feel any aesthetic connection to whatsoever: getting to the free-throw line. The Pistons put on a hell of a show on Sunday night in their overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls, largely because Stuckey was a man put on this planet to create contact and draw fouls.

That ability to create easy points at the charity stripe is surely appreciated, but hardly resonant; the free throw is the lull in the action, and no one mistakes it for anything but. Yet in high enough frequency, those lulls begin to matter a great deal. According to Basketball-Reference.com, Stuckey has posted a greater per-minute free-throw-attempting frequency this season than all but four NBA players.

Stuckey is far from a specialist, but he nonetheless carves out value through a very specific excellence. That he happens to excel in one of the game’s most boring arenas should certainly matter, but perhaps less than it does; isn’t there some beauty in production for production’s sake, no matter the aesthetic emptiness?

Dan Feldman (via NBA.com/stats) also noted that pace adjusted, Stuckey jumps to third on that per-minute list — past Kevin Love and LeBron James.

2 Comments

  • Apr 18, 20121:59 pm
    by sebastian

    Reply

    No doubt about it, getting to the line is an art and a skill. Of course the players who are known in NBA lore: Jordan, Mailman, Wilt, Kareem, got went to the line a plenty, but there are some others who made their careers by getting to the line and shooting a high percentage, like my man, Adrian Dantley and even today players like Paul Pierce, Kevin Durant, Labron, Wade really know how to get to the strip.
    So indeed, Stuckey’s ability to get to the line is both, an art and a skill. And, for once it is about time fans and writers, alike, recognize this aspect of Stuck’s game.

  • Apr 9, 201311:41 pm
    by hair chalking

    Reply

    Just about all of whatever you state happens to be astonishingly accurate and that makes me wonder the reason why I had not looked at this in this light previously. This particular article truly did switch the light on for me personally as far as this particular issue goes.

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