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Rodney Stuckey still struggling to shoot at rim, even with better 3-point shooting teammates

Last year, some Rodney Stuckey supporters floated a theory that his dismal shooting percentage at the rim was due to the Pistons’ poor 3-point shooting. These Stuckey fans argued his driving lanes were tighter, because opponents could sag inside more easily.

I didn’t find their argument particularly persuasive, but I wrote a post addressing the issue. The basic conclusion: Stuckey’s field-goal percentage at the rim was poor last year, and so was Detroit’s 3-point shooting. But for as poor as the Pistons’ outside shooting was, Stuckey’s field-goal percentage at the rim was even poorer relative to other similar players.

I ended the post by saying , “Hopefully, Ben Gordon and the rest of the Pistons shoot better on 3-pointers next season. That would help us learn a lot about Stuckey. Plus, it would make Detroit better.”

Well, the Pistons climbed from last in 3-point percentage last year (31.4 percent) to fourth this year (37.7 percent). About that making Detroit better, yeah… But this should help us learn more about Stuckey.

So, I’m re-plotting the same data as last year:

I looked at each team’s leader in shots at the rim among guards and small forwards. I charted their field-goal percentage at the rim against their teammates’ 3-point percentage (which is slightly flawed because it accounts for all 3-pointers, not just when the shots-at-rim leader is on the court – but I think it still serves the point)

You might be surprised how far Stuckey’s field-goal percentage at the rim has fallen this season. After a strong start, it has quietly declined. (Stats from HoopData.)

Sheet 1

Anyway, onto the main show:

Sheet 2

(Three players – Carmelo Anthony, Corey Brewer and Devin Harris – were traded midseason. I used their original team’s 3-point shooting at the time of the trade.)

As you can see, Stuckey’s shooting at the rim is well below the expected value.

What’s Stuckey’s excuse now?

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