A two-game win streak, the Pistons’ best in more than six weeks? Snapped.
Rodney Stuckey’s infuriating ability to always show enough potential to inspire some confidence but never anything more? In tact.
Stuckey had 22 points and eight rebounds in a 104-96 loss to the Hawks yesterday, another quality game in what has seemed like a run of them from him lately. In his last 13 games, he’s averaging 15.2 points and 5.9 assists, and based on my perception before checking the numbers, I’m a little surprised those figures weren’t higher. I guess that speaks to his tendency to find the middle ground between potential and peaked.
I think 13 games is a fairly sizable sample and can actually tell us something about Stuckey’s progress. But he’s had 14 other 13-game stretches when he at least matched both totals.
Games where he passes too much – like Wednesday’s 14-assist, one-shot performance – or games where he shoots too much – a combined 40 points and four assists in a two-game stretch in late February – don’t really prove he’s on track.
Games like yesterday’s certainly encourage, but 22 and 8 isn’t out of the ordinary from Stuckey.
As usual, I’m left scratching my head with him.
Greg Monroe doesn’t stop
There’s a skill in sometimes playing great games, and there’s a skill in always playing good games. I think we can safely say Greg Monroe has proven himself as a player who does the latter.
Monroe had 17 points and 10 rebounds, his ninth double-double in his last 13 games (69 percent). For perspective, Pau Gasol has gotten a double in only 54 percent of his games this season.
Chris Wilcox will stop
Chris Wilcox scored 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting a game after posting 13 points and 12 rebounds against the Knicks. Obligatory reminder of what Royce Young of Daily Thunder said when the Pistons signed Wilcox:
If there is one word to describe Chris Wilcox, it’s inconsistent. He can actually drive you nuts with it.
He’ll go through a lull of four games doing nothing – 18 minutes, four points, two rebounds two turnovers, or something like that.
But then on the fifth night, he’ll blow up for 16 points, 11 boards and a crucial block or two. He’ll energize the arena with a soaring dunk. And you’ll think, "Okay, here we go! Let the Chris Wilcox era begin!"
Sadly though, the next game it’s back to another lackluster performance. I don’t know if he’s unfocused or uninspired, but it really drives you batty. To have that much skill and ability and not work to harness it.