I was tweeting with Steve Kays (@SteveKaysNBA) tonight about Rodney Stuckey. Steve knows his stuff, but I thought he was short-changing Stuckey with his last two tweets:
It’s not that I don’t think he’s good, but I just can’t see him ever being a good team’s #1 option. Doesn’t finish well … enough around the rim, or from 15+ feet. He’d make for an ok SG, or a great 6th man.
I’ll concede Stuckey’s not a great outside shooter, of course. (Not that I expect it, but the way Stuckey has improved each year, I think it’s possible he can make himself into a solid perimeter shooter).
But I thought it was unfair to criticize Stuckey’s low percentage at the rim (49.3, according to HoopData.com). That ranks 58th of the 66 point guards who played at least 41 games.
But I figured Stuckey’s percentage was unfairly low because he didn’t get enough respect on foul calls. At least, that’s what we’ve been told for months.
I admit, I never really noticed Stuckey not getting foul calls he deserved. But because John Kuester made Stuckey not getting enough respect his campaign of the second half of the season, I figure there was some weight to it. Kuester just doesn’t strike me as someone who would passionately crusade about something like that if he didn’t believe it – unlike someone like this guy.
But when I looked at the data closer, there isn’t evidence Stuckey is disadvantaged. In fact Stuckey sits right on the line of how many free throws you’d expect him to shoot based on the number of shots he takes at the rim.
Shots at rim compared to free throw attempts for point guards during 2009-10 season
So, I don’t have an excuse for Stuckey’s low percentage at the rim. Point Steve.
But I still think Stuckey could end up the No. 1 player on a good team (assuming it’s a balanced, not superstar-led, team). I just have to figure out another reason I believe it.