Almost exactly two years ago, Chauncey Billups was traded from the Detroit Pistons to the Denver Nuggets because Pistons President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars felt that young scorer Rodney Stuckey could fill Billups's role on the team for a whole lot less money.
Two years later Stuckey has solidified himself as one of the team's top scorers, but continues to be criticized for not playing a true point guard's game.
Personally, I've been vocally critical of Stuckey's game and the numbers he put up last year, which put him amongst the league's worst point guards in terms of point play and scoring efficiency. So far this season, however, the only complaint one could really levy at Stuckey is that he's the unfortunate player that Kuester designs last-minute x's and o's around in the clutch.
November 1st, 2010 is not a wise time to publish an article critical of Stuckey's point play, suggesting that he's "still no point guard". Why?
Stuckey currently leads the league in assist to turnover ratio with 5.9:1. He's putting up better point purity numbers than even Steve Nash, with 7.7 assists to 13.7 field goal attempts. So far this season, only three players are recording more assists than field goal attempts (Rajon Rondo, Jason Kidd and Jose Calderon), leaving Stuckey in comfortable territory with players like Nash, John Wall, Russel Westbrook and Tony Parker.
In three games, Stuck is recording 18.7 points per game on 46% shooting, 7.7 assists and only 1.3 turnovers. Three games provides for a tiny sample that can't be suggestive of an 82 game performance. But the timing of this article couldn't be worse. It's equivalent to publishing an article today suggesting that "Joakim Noah is really struggling to rebound", or "Danny Granger really needs to work on his three pointer". Had this article been published this summer, it would be hard to disagree.
In the first three games of this season, Stuckey has shown zero reason for critique. The only thing that fans and the media should be giving him right now are respect for these numbers and encouragement for more.