Rodney Stuckey: Grown Man Strong

Ray StoneCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2009

DALLAS - MARCH 17:  Rodney Stuckey #3 of the Detroit Pistons dribbles the ball past Jose Juan Barea #11 of the Dallas Mavericks on March 17, 2009 at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)


That is what I find myself screaming every time I see Rodney Stuckey matched one-on-one with almost any point guard in the NBA.

Stuckey is a true power guard, in the mold of Mr. Big Shot—but at 6’ 5", 205 pounds, he is even more physically imposing.

One of the definite positives of this unusually mediocre Piston season has been  watching Stuckey come into his own.

The most impressive thing about his game is how much he totally man handles opposing guards.  In years to come, Rodney may become a bully among hapless NBA guards.

I have watched RS just take other point guards straight to the basket.  Do-not-pass-go style.  Like a father takes his 16-year-old, just-made-the-varsity-team son. 

“I know you’re getting good now junior, but you still too light in the a$$.”

He is doing that to NBA veterans.

Stuckey is grown man strong. 

He attacks the rim hard when he senses he has a physical advantage over someone guarding him, leading to lots of fouls and "and 1's".

Many times, Stuckey bumps his defender at the free throw line, sending him stumbling far into the paint, while he pulls up innocently for a free throw line jumper. 

Whatever changes the Pistons decide to make in the off-season—it’s nice to have a strong young athlete like Stuckey to stabilize the future.  

Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince are really good players, but both of them are rail thin.  It is nice to have a young guy that can do some of the pushing around, and not vice versa.

Room for Growth

Rodney has a lot to learn in terms of leading a basketball team.  He is averaging a mediocre 4.9 assists and 2.2 turnovers this year, but those are numbers that will surely improve with experience.

Stuckey is not the most "natural" point guard to begin with, he is more of a scoring guard who must learn to be a floor general.

Billups was once viewed the same way, though he was never as explosive as the Eastern Washington product.

Piston coach Michael Curry probably won’t accelerate his growth as a point guard in this league.  He is no Larry Brown.  Stuck is going through a true on-the-job training. 

Even veteran NBA guard Lindsey Hunter is not around to help groom him anymore.  

(Man, wouldn’t it be nice to have Isiah Thomas around for that?)

Stuckey must also improve his three point accuracy; he is currently shooting .310 from downtown.  More range would really make him hard to defend.

Let’s hope the Pistons hold on to make it to the playoffs this season.  Even if they get ousted early, it will be invaluable experience for their new point guard. 

The NBA post season is what separates the men from the boys - and young Stuckey is ready to rumble with the big dogs!