I have a history of latching on to certain players and overstating their worth before they really deserve it (OMG Delfino! Free Amir!), so I don't want to do that with Rodney Stuckey. Instead, I'll let the rest of the internet do it for me ...
The clear consensus around the closed-door boardroom is that Stuckey is the most FreeDarko player in the league right now. Defying all conventional wisdom about how a player of his caliber should carry himself, bursting with potential and taking (but somehow making) the most ill-advised shots in tight situations. Guys like Stucky are not supposed to play on the road like he has. Guys like Stuckey are not supposed to play in the playoffs, period (see Allen, Tony). Although it could debunk my three-year thesis that KG's problems in Minny were a result solely of bad coaching, I have to give Flip Saunders his props for trusting every single one of his guys, rolling out the ball, and seeing what the hell they can do.
Again, Stuckey isn’t why the Pistons won Game 2, but his 5-8 from the field and confidence down the stretch are reasons to believe that Detroit does have other options outside their unquestionably dominant starting five.
The question, then, isn’t whether or not Stuckey channelled his inner Wade, or when he’ll develop to a point where performances like this become a nightly occurrence, but rather if you’ll remember or not, that he’s had it in him all along next time it happens.
From Jeff at CelticsBlog:
Pistons fans are quite taken with the young man. He stepped in for Billups when he was out at the end of the last series as well. The challenge for the Celtics will be to figure out ways to keep this latest weapon from doing too much damage. It is bad enough when any one of the starting 5 can get hot, but when they've got a 6th man stepping up, they become really difficult to beat.
The Pistons claimed they needed immediate help from their 1st pick in the NBA draft. Yet they pick a kid, Rodney Stuckey, who only spent all of 2 seasons at Eastern freaking Washington? Eastern Washington? This has Rodney White written all over it, and we know how well that turned out.
Whoops! That last one was from draft night, not Game 2! Here's Big Al's mea culpa posted yesterday:
Uh, Al....what in the HELL were you thinking?
I think I was blinded by a couple of things. I bought into the "small school player can't compete right away" stereotype. I also had been quite unhappy with Joe Dumars' recent history in draft picks. [...] Good thing Joe D doesn't listen to me, as Stuckey has been as impressive as all get out for the Pistons.
For the record, I’ve been a Rodney Stuckey advocate for awhile now. "Grown Man" Stuckey, as ESPN’s Mark Jackson referred to him at one point in Game 2, was super-mega massive for the Pistons, finishing with 13 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals in 17 minutes off the bench. Detroit doesn’t win this one without his contributions.
He scored in a variety of ways: spot-up jumpers with and without a hand in his face, driving to the basket, making free throws (Stuckey is now 33-36, good for 91.7%, from the line during these playoffs, good for 2nd overall). [...] Stuckey hit some huge buckets to stem the tide and impressed once again. This kid has a very bright future.