Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE
Chris Broussard mentions that unidentified sources indicate that struggling Pistons guard has let rough start to season affect his mentality, say he is liable to "shut it down."
It is no surprise to see Rodney Stuckey on a list of disappointing players in this young NBA season.
Statistically he is having the worst year of his career (albeit in only eight games so far) and there have been indications that he is struggling to adapt to his new role as an off guard who doesn't have the ball in his hands nearly as much as he used to.
While most are just waiting for him to crawl out of his early season funk there are signs that he is in danger of sliding backwards as opposed to moving forwards.
In writing about Stuckey, Broussard stated (ESPN Insider -- subscription required) the following:
The strange thing is that several people have told me Stuckey worked his tail off over the summer and that he was prepared to come in and have perhaps his best season. Now that he's struggling, they tell me he's a moody person who lets his moods affect his play
"He hasn't grown up yet so he might get frustrated and just shut it down,'' one person said.
Stuckey also may need (or want) the ball in his hands more. He always has been a combo guard -- not quite a 1 or a 2. But with Brandon Knight feeling more comfortable at the point, he's handling the ball more than he did last season, which has left Stuckey without both the ball and his mojo.
I am certainly not going to overreact to this one anecdotal piece of evidence, but I do think that it bears keeping an eye on.
Also, as we contemplate the decisions the team makes regarding certain players -- easing Drummond into the lineup, starting Maxiell in his contract year, keeping Prince in the starting lineup -- it's important to remember that these are real people with real emotions and real egos that have to be handled appropriately.
That doesn't mean you acquiesce to all the players' demands; we saw how that worked out under John Kuester. But it does mean that it is important to be honest and communicate effectively with the players. And it also means that even if something seems best for the team if it is not handled appropriately then it will actually undermine what's best for the team in the short- and/or long-term.
Regarding Stuckey, if the team has to help the shooting guard get back into the right frame of mind and if they do make any changes in Stuckey's role they need to handle it appropriately. Perhaps Stuckey would welcome a "demotion" out of the starting lineup so that he can get back into a comfort zone with the ball in his hands off the bench. Perhaps he simply needs more time to figure out how best to mesh with Knight in the starting lineup as BK gets more responsibilities put on his shoulders.