NBA Roundtable

Stuckey Article

In General NBA on October 25, 2009 at 9:23 am

Good article on Pistons.com about Rodney Stuckey

Like his mentor Larry Brown, John Kuester doesn’t look at statistics – and especially not point totals – in assessing the play of his point guard.So ask Kuester to assess the performance of third-year point guard Rodney Stuckey through the first three weeks of training camp and the preseason and he evokes Brown in saying, “He is going to go through parts of this season where he might not score a point and have a great game. That’s one of the things – not only him, but the entire team – understanding we have to make certain sacrifices in order for us to be a complete team. He understands his role is important to us from a defensive and offensive standpoint and I expect big things out of Rodney Stuckey.”

What about assists?

The statistic that jumps off the page is his assists – nine in six games, inordinately low for a point guard.Kuester isn’t pinning much on that stat, either, given the small sample size and the nature of preseason basketball.

“There are going to be nights where other people who have a higher ratio, but Rodney is a very unselfish player and somebody who will get more assists,” he said. “We’re going to be focused more on playing as a collective group.”

What is Coach Kuester looking for?

What Kuester wants most from Stuckey is to take control of a game’s rhythm and assume the burden of putting his team in the right positions at both ends of the floor, traits that only the rare prodigies exhibit without a dose of experience and the confidence that comes with it.

There are some more interesting parts in the article — focus on transition defense which Kuester feels the Pistons are doing poorly at the moment + Kuester wanting his point guards to press the ball handler to take time off the shot clock (hugely undervalued part of point guard defense!).

So, these are some of the areas to watch out for when watching Rodney Stuckey and the Detroit Pistons this season.

ESPN’s Game Recap

There was a nice section at the start of ESPN’s game recap on the Pistons-Bucks game on Stuckey

Ben Gordon said Rodney Stuckey can get anywhere he wants on the court. Stuckey just wanted to make sure the Bucks weren’t getting to the basket.

The burly point guard scored all nine of the Pistons’ points over the final 4:21 and finished with 16 as Detroit held on to beat Milwaukee 95-93 on Friday night in the final preseason game for both teams.

“He’s just a bulldog, plain and simple,” Gordon said. “Rodney’s probably one of the strongest point guards in the NBA, if not the strongest.”

Still, Stuckey wasn’t happy about the defensive effort in a 122-114 loss to Minnesota on Thursday, Detroit’s fourth straight, and helped shut down Bucks rookie Brandon Jennings, who finished 2 of 9 from the field and had six points.

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  1. If Kuester goes with the following rotation

    PG – Rodney Stuckey and Ben Gordon, almost exclusively, pinning Will Bynum to the bench [as a very solid 3rd-stringer];

    OG – Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon;

    SF – Tay Prince and some combination of Austin Daye, Deron Washington, Jonas Jerebko and DuJuan Summers;

    PF & C – some combination of Ben Wallace, Charlie Villanueva, Jason Maxiell, Kwame Brown, Chris Wilcox and, possibly, Jerebko;

    the Pistons will most definitely be a playoff team in the EC.

    ————————————

    However, if Kuester conistently introduces Will Bynum into the mix at the PG position this season, in addition to using Stuckey and Gordon at this spot OR in place of using Gordon as a PG at all:

    – Will Bynum will have a very productive season stats-wise

    – Rodney Stuckey will not make significant progress as a PG

    – Rip Hamilton and Ben Gordon will struggle this season

    – and the Pistons, as a group, will struggle to qualify for the playoffs

    With the current composition of Detroit’s roster, what Coach Kuester decides to do at the PG position will dictate to a large extent how the Pistons evolve as a team this season.

  2. Pistons are putting a lot of faith in a very young and unproven talent. Inconsistent play is likely to be the norm.

  3. If the Pistons place their faith in the hands of Rodney Stuckey [as their primary PG] and Ben Gordon [as his primary back-up and their #1 combo guard], by rewarding them with MAJOR minutes plus the responsibility of running their team, then, lock in Rip Hamilton and Tay Prince as their primary wings … supported by their young talent from the last 2 NBA Drafts, i.e. Washington, Daye, Jerebko and Summers … they will be handsomely rewarded with consistent production this season and for years to-come.

    On the other hand, Jerking around a young stud like Stuckey and a playing solid vets like Gordon and Hamilton out of their best positions is what will lead to inconsistency for the Pistons.

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