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On Rodney Stuckey and turning corners

This was mentioned in the comments, but Rodney Stuckey has cracked ESPN's David Thorpe's top 10 rookie rankings:

Rodney Stuckey has exploded thus far in April, averaging 20 points per game and 5.3 assists per game in three wins. He has grown into a trusted player in Detroit's rotation. Rookie guards have the toughest task of all come playoff time, so it will be interesting to see whether he gets playing time then and how he responds if he does. One thing is certain: He's a very confident player with the ball in his hands.

He's down to 18 and 4.8 after last night's game, but he's obviously turned the corner. In his first 32 games of the season, he shot just 36% from the field. In his last 20, he's at 47%. He's simply making better decisions with the ball, whether it's finding his own shot or finding a teammate.

This is a couple of weeks old, but Thorpe looked at the entire rookie class and suggested an NBA veteran that each youngster would be well-served to emulate. For Stuckey, he came up with Deron Williams:

Stuckey has the size to be an effective player in the paint, and he's already OK in this area now. Williams, however, is a punisher inside, beating guys up off the dribble before scoring or banging them off flex cuts or pin-downs to gain position near the rim. Stuckey would be a tougher player to match up with if he was inspired to play with the kind of toughness inside that Williams exhibits.

We all know Stuckey can get to the rim -- it's figuring out what to do once he gets there that has been a learning process this year. Looking at Williams' career stats, it seems he may have gone through a similar transition: his shooting percentage has climbed from 42.1% as a rookie to 45.6% his second year to 50.9% this season.

hat-tip: DBB reader Kyle