Rodney Stuckey’s 3-point shooting: aberration or breakthrough?

Rodney Stuckey is shooting 37.5 percent on 2.9 3-point attempts per 36 minutes. If those numbers hold, they’d both be career highs and, for the first time, Stuckey’s 3-point percentage will best the NBA average.

Has the fourth-year guard finally solidified his outside shot?

Maybe.

It’s encouraging that Stuckey is attempting so many 3-pointers – 32 in 14 games so far this season – because that indicates his high percentage is a result of increased skill, not becoming more choosy in his shot selection. Before this year, he had never attempted more than 28 3-pointers in a 14-game stretch.

But Stuckey’s 12 makes in 32 attempts don’t break new ground. He’s achieved that 17 others times during his career, though they came as part of just two independent stretches, one that mostly occurred during the middle of the 2008-09 season and one that mostly occurred late last season. In fact, he made 13-of-32 3-pointers four times during his 2008-09 hot streak.

Stuckey producing like this at the beginning of a season certainly gives more reason for optimism. It’s easy to imagine him spending the lockout launching 3-pointer after 3-pointer in a Seattle gym. Whether that happened, I don’t know. But I’m more less likely to consider his 3-point shooting a fluke than had he dropped these numbers in the middle of the season.

I’m encouraged by Stuckey’s production from beyond the arc so far, but until he shoots like this long enough to post the best 3-point-shooting stretch of his career, I’m not ready to declare definitively that he’s turned the corner.

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