I would hope that everybody agrees on the improvements made by Rodney Stuckey this past season. Not only is Stuckey a nice guy, he plays the game hard and with passion. He showed dependability and perseverance, battling the latter much of the season because of all the lineup uncertainties and the Iverson distractions. He even stated at the conclusion of the season that the season was a “waste of time.” Stuckey, dude, couldn’t agree with you more in terms of the team concept, but individually you made sufficient progress.
He has a long way to go to embody an elite NBA point guard though. Floor and locker room leadership, possessing a respectable three point shot, and defending quicker guards are all aspects he must drastically improve. I’ll give him one huge incomplete for the first one, this season wasn’t a good data set.
Does he have the talent and determination to be a very good NBA point guard, or dare I say elite? I don’t know, but I do know he has the potential to be an All-Star, but maybe at the two guard position. On the other hand, a 6’5 ish point guard is pretty intriguing and can give teams problems for years. And I can stomach my point guard shooting less than 35% from downtown more than I can my two guard. Hopefully next season will determine Stuckey’s future guard adventures, let’s just hope the Will Bynum man love expressed by so many fans doesn’t permeate to the coaching staff, thus experimenting with Bynum as the starting point guard. God forbid your starting point guard is hard pressed to shoot 20% from downtown. In Michael Curry we trust, right?
“Point guards” who handle the position better than Stuckey are plenty. Maybe this is a silly demonstration of how the point guard position has grown to be such a beast lately and why Stuckey might be playing the wrong position, or why I shouldn’t be comparing Rodney to anybody yet, but it does prove a point I hope (hopefully not that I’m a glass half empty type of person here).
Without further ado, here’s the daunting ladder Stuckey has to climb.
Obviously superior “point guards” (no order)
Lebron James Maurice Williams
Debatable Superiority (no order)
Randy Foye- Up and coming, good three point shooter, playing on the Wolves is not best indicator though
Russell Westbrook- Much further along than Stuckey was at this point, Rondo-esque intangibles
Raymond Felton- Upside is lacking here, but consistency is obvious
Rafer Alston- A better point guard maybe, but don’t think I’m saying he’s a better player
Derek Fisher- His importance is not measured by stats, although his body of work statistically is rock solid
Maybe stretching it (in order)
Aaron Brooks- Not really a true distributor per se, but has fit in superbly with the Rockets
Ramon Sessions- Not a threat to shoot it from deep (understatement of the blog so far) but does everything else pretty well for a second year player
Mike Conley- Yeah, I’m joking
Luke Ridnour- I could be joking, sorry it’s the Ron Ron in me