Anyone who has ever ridden the Millennium Force roller-coaster at Cedar Point can tell you the highlights: a sense of nervousness on the way up, followed by a heart-stopping, 2-1/2-minute ride full of thrills. Even if you've been on the ride 20 times before, it all feels new. It seems to describe the Rodney Stuckey experience, the epitome of a supremely talented up-and-down player for the Pistons this season. On Saturday night, with every whirling dervish drive to the basket and concentrated finish with contact at the rim on his way to a season-high 32-point night, you could almost hear the collective question: Where has this guy been this season? "The more opportunities he has with the ball in his hands the more effective he is," said Pistons acting coach Brian Hill. "It gives him a chance to be an attacking player." The last time anyone saw this type of production, efficiency or aggression was last season's overtime loss to the Chicago Bulls, when Stuckey gave a beating and took one to the tune of 32 points. But when Hill benched Stuckey for the second half of a three-point loss to Dallas on March 8, he intimated Stuckey didn't bring the requisite energy needed to compete. From March 3-10, he made a total of two field goals in four games. Saturday, you'd have been hard-pressed to find anyone who played harder than Stuckey — despite taking a nasty shot to the head that required stitches afterward. Considering where this team lies — and falling faster than the aforementioned roller coaster to the bottom of the Eastern Conference — one can't help wondering if Stuckey's career-worst season is the main culprit for the Pistons' fortunes.
Rodney Stuckey, Pistons grapple with his up-and-down year
Detroit News | Mar 18