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Looking back on Jerry Stackhouse’s 1999-00 season for the Pistons

One of my favorite things about SLAM is when the website digs into the magazine articles and re-publishes stories from the past. They recently did so with a profile by Michael Bradley of then-Piston Jerry Stackhouse’s breakout 1999-00 season:

Whatever the reason, we saw a new Jerry Stackhouse in ’99-00. Not only did he assume the role of team spokesman, a job Hill was no doubt pleased to cede, (particularly with all the rumors flying around about his future), but Stack also started putting up the kind of rip-roarin’ numbers that were expected from him when he came into the League. He averaged 23.6 ppg, up nearly 10 from his shaky ’99 performance. His rebounding figure (3.8 rpg) was a career high, and he actually passed the ball, something that hadn’t ever been a big part of his repertoire, despite his protests to the contrary. In short, Stackhouse became a full-fledged NBA scoring machine, lethal in the open court, strong in the mid-range and excellent from the foul line. Oh, there is still that minor problem with three-point shooting (28.8 percent?? Blecchh!!!), but we’re not going to talk about that, Jerry. We will, however, mention your 14 games of 30 or more points, including a career-high 40 spot against Denver. And we won’t forget about the 11 points you scored in the All-Star game. Or the 11 assists you handed out against Golden State back in December.

Most Pistons fans remember Stackhouse’s 2000-01 season, after Grant Hill left as a free agent, when Stack’s 29.8 points per game average and pursuit of the scoring title was the most interesting news to come out of a rebuilding season, but his 99-00 season playing next to Hill was really good too. He shot the ball better and wasn’t forced into taking as many bad shots as he had to the following season, since the Pistons had no other reliable scoring option.


  • Sep 24, 20124:59 pm
    by G


    What I remember about Stack is he turned into a completely different player in the playoffs, and basketball reference backed me up. In the 2002 playoffs he had a couple good games and a bunch of bad ones, shooting .321 FG% and dropping about 4 pts off his regular season average.

    • Sep 24, 20125:07 pm
      by G


      Don’t get me wrong, he made the Pistons watchable for a couple years post-Grant Hill, but you can’t have your star player go 5-15 and 3-18 in back-to-back playoff games.

      • Sep 25, 20121:03 pm
        by Max


        Stack’s had some great playoff games–even fairly recently for Dallas.   His teammates during the Pistons forays were too poor offensively to give him any room to operate when the other team could focus everything on just stopping him–and Grant Hill was too injured against Atlanta to help much either. 

        • Sep 25, 20122:00 pm
          by G


          Stack couldn’t hack it as a go-to guy in the clutch. He had the same teammates all season long, so why did he suck so bad in 2002 Playoffs? Hill wasn’t on the team that year, it was Stack, Corliss, Uncle Cliffy, Chucky, Jon Barry, Ben, and a handful of odds & ends.

          FYI – his career playoff FG% is .372, regular season FG% is .446. If you read my first post, I said in 2002 he had a couple good games and a bunch of bad ones (even in Dallas). Over his entire career his playoff performances fall below what he did in the regular season. There may be outliers here and there, but compare career averages. He was especially brutal in 2002.

          • Sep 25, 201210:22 pm
            by Max

            The same reason high scoring bad defensive teams suck in the playoffs whether they approach 60 wins or not.  The playoffs is an entirely different breed of basketball because the other team gets to focus itself entirely on one squad and the first thing they do is try to take whatever you do best away if it’s possible.   If a good defensive team decided it’s going to take away a player like Stackhouse’s drive as their top priority game one going into a playoff series and the rest of the team can’t counter, a player like Stackhouse is going to struggle unless he plays out of his mind.  
            It’s just like when Iggy couldn’t do anything against the Pistons in the playoffs a few years ago.  Sure, Prince played great D and the rest of the team too, but another big key was that they just weren’t a balanced offensive squad so when the Pistons keyed in on him, there was no way he was going to produce his regular season numbers or even not struggle and look bad.  It doesn’t mean Iggy can’t perform in the playoffs but rather that he can’t carry a team by himself.  
            Stackhouse still led the Pistons in scoring in 02 when they got to the 2nd round and I don’t remember Clifford Robinson adding very much as their 2nd best offensive player and his playoff reputation is truly bad.   Stack had some big games in the playoffs so it’s just not right to say he wasn’t clutch.    

          • Sep 26, 20129:15 am
            by G

            If the reason Stack sucked so bad for the Pistons was because the defenses were taking him away, why did he suck so bad in Dallas? He wasn’t even the #2 scoring option there. His FG%s in Dallas were .386 in ’05, .402 in ’06, .348 in ’07, and .316 in ’08.

            Anyway, that doesn’t change the fact that we were better off dealing him for Rip. I said before, Stack had a couple big games and a bunch of bad ones. The problem was even in games where he scored, he was missing a TON of shots. He had one game where he shot .500 and the rest were all below .400. He shot 1-10 in the clinching game vs. Toronto, and he shot .297 in the Boston series (a series we were supposed to win).

            The Pistons weren’t ready to win the championship yet, but they did win 50 games. It wasn’t Jerry Stackhouse & a bunch of scrubs. They were 18th in the NBA in offense despite playing one of the slowest paces in the league, and 6th in defense. I’m not saying he lost the series for Detroit, they had plenty of help, but he certainly laid the biggest egg.

          • Sep 26, 201212:38 pm
            by Max

            Those are all bad shooting games but Stack’s greatest value in general was his ability to get to the line and shoot a high pct.   Stack was a 6th man in Dallas and had an awesome finals against the Heat in 06.  Dallas probably would have won the series if Stack hadn’t gotten suspended.  You can’t say a player who had dominant games in the finals can’t perform in the playoffs.  
            I never heard anyone say Allen Iverson wasn’t clutch but his pct in the playoffs is right around 40% and he did have his years of being well shy of that mark.   It’s just one stat and it often falls to a team’s best player to take a lot of low pct shots at the end of shot clocks because the ball is in their hands or they have no good options to pass to 
            I don’t want to say the rest of the 02 team was scrubs but when your 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th best scorers are Cliff Robinson, Corliss Williamson off the bench, Chucky Atkins and Jon Barry off the bench—you are not very good.   That team way overachieved to get those 48 wins.   A very similar roster, with a minor downgrade of Joe Smith instead of CRob, the season before won 36. 
            RIP was obviously a great trade but I don’t know that he could have handled being the absolute man on a playoff team any better than Stack as Stack was at least better at creating his own shot.  I believe Stack would have been much more effective in the playoffs if he had gotten to play with Billups, Sheed and Prince but I agree that I’d rather have RIP in that role.

          • Sep 26, 20122:22 pm
            by G

            Odd comparison, Iverson & Stackhouse. Iverson’s playoff FG% is virtually the same as his regular season FG% dropping only 2.4% off his career mark, Stack’s drops 7.4%. As far as getting to the line goes, in the 2002 playoffs Stack attempted 6.3 FTs per game vs. 7.7 attempts per game in the regular season.

            Pick Iverson’s worst playoff series and it’s still better than Stack’s. Both guys are volume scorers and both’s efficiency dipped quite a bit in the playoffs, but don’t ever accuse AI of shrinking from the moment. I remember those 2002 playoffs, and Stack disappeared while our offense consisted of pounding Corliss in the post.

  • Sep 24, 20125:10 pm
    by Jameson Draper


    Jerry Stackhouse’s house was nextdoor to my preschool, in case anyone cares.

  • Sep 24, 20125:23 pm
    by gmehl


    Ahhh yes i do remember that feeling of waking up to the news that Grant Hill was gone to Orlando. All i could remember thinking was who fcuk was Ben Wallace. I new more about Chucky Atkins than i did about Ben and i must admit i was worried. The season Hill left for the Magic the one thing i remember doing a lot was checking the box scores every game to see how Jerry had gone and the kid was filling up the stat sheet just about every night. I don’t know if its just me but i got great pleasure out of those teams post Grant Hill that won 40-odd to 50 games even if we were 1st round playoff fodder. I loved the fact that we were a bunch of spare parts that no body wanted that fit together just right. Teams like that, that are made up of guys that are hungry but not as talented as other teams are easy to root for. I only wish i could have that season of games on DVD so i could watch them all again.

    • Sep 24, 20125:44 pm
      by Jameson Draper


      Yeah, like the “Spare Tires” guys at the Pistons half-time shows! …..Right?

  • Sep 24, 20127:29 pm
    by DasMark


    Stack was a volume scorer, that was definitely entertaining to watch in his prime. But, he was never a playoff performer. 

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