Stuckey can’t explain latest downturn
by Carlos Monarrez, USA TODAY Sports
It was a new low in a season of lows for Rodney Stuckey. But he still sat at his locker Friday night after the Detroit Pistons’ latest loss and quietly tried to answer questions no one can answer right now.
Stuckey’s lackluster play earned him a first-half benching by assistant coach Brian Hill, which extended Stuckey’s streak to three games without a field goal. It has been nine days since Stuckey last made a basket from the field, when he scored six points on 3-for-7 shooting March 1 at New Orleans.
“I probably wasn’t being aggressive,” Stuckey said softly about his benching. “We did a good job of picking up the slack in the second half. We came in with some good energy defensively. We came down there knocking down shots as well, so we almost had a chance to win the game.”
Stuckey played 13 minutes Friday against the Dallas Mavericks before Hill gave him the hook and inserted Khris Middleton, who sparked a furious second-half rally.
“I just felt we needed energy, and I didn’t think we were getting energy from everybody in the first half,” Hill said. “I wanted to get five guys out there. It was just rolling the dice.”
Hill, running the team while Lawrence Frank attends to his sick wife, made the right move. But he still doesn’t know what to do about Stuckey, who is a combined 0-for-11 from the field in his past three games.
“Yeah, I can’t — that’s a hard one for me to figure out because he’s trying to attack the basket,” Hill said. “He makes an effort at the defensive end of the floor. I think he’s like a lot of guys, just going through a little spell right now where you just have to play yourself out of it.”
The 26-year-old’s scoring average has dropped for three consecutive seasons, down to 10.7 points a game from 16.6 in 2009-10. That’s partly because of the emergence of Brandon Knight, but his 38.8% shooting hasn’t helped.
Stuckey, like his coach, stammered while searching for an answer.
“Um, it is what it is, man,” he said. “Just got to … [For more on Rodney Stuckey of Pistons can't explain latest downturn, click here.]