Maybe not his best three-game stretch, but this might be Rodney Stuckey’s most meaningful run

Rodney Stuckey has played so well so far this season, even Patrick Hayes has to give him credit. After the Pistons fell to the Thunder, Patrick wrote:

Stuckey has played one of the best two-game stretches as a point guard and playmaker in his career.

When Stuckey followed that up with another strong performance against the Bulls, I began to wonder: Is this really Stuckey’s best three-game stretch?

The numbers don’t tell us everything, but they make for easy comparisons, so we’ll go with them.

In his career, Stuckey has had 210 three-game sets. Here are his totals from the last three games, with their rankings among Stuckey’s three-game stretches for his career in parentheses:

  • Points: 56 (28)
  • Assists: 23 (6)
  • Assist-to-turnover ratio: 5.75:1 (10*)
  • Rebounds: 13 (37)
  • Free-throw attempts: 23 (8)
  • True-shooting percentage: .608 (35)

*Doesn’t include a stretch that ended Jan. 12, 2008, when Stuckey had one assist and no turnovers.

To combine all these factors, let’s look at John Hollinger’s game score – again, for simplicity of comparison.

Stuckey has a combined game score of 47.4 the last three games, the 12th-best stretch of his career. For comparison, in his best run, Stuckey averaged 23.7 points, 6.3 assists and 4.3 rebounds for three games in January 2009.

I think he’s done a good job defensively the last three games, too. Unfortunately, there aren’t good statistics available to measure defense.

Why this means more

It’s all subjective, but this probably isn’t Stuckey’s best three-game stretch. With 11 runs posting a higher game score, without further inspection, I’d guess at least one of them was better than the last three games.

But I think this is more meaningful than random few games in January. This is Stuckey excelling to begin a season.

He worked hard in the offseason, and it’s showing. Unlike many of his other runs, there at least appears to be an explanation for this one.

Maybe we’ll look back and realize this was just a random set of three games where Stuckey played well. He’s certainly had those before.

But because this is coming at the beginning of the season, I’m hopeful this is something more.

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