NBC Sports: Rodney Stuckey not ‘hunting contact’

We’ve already had plenty of discussion about what is ailing Rodney Stuckey today. Darius Soriano of NBC’s Pro Basketball Talk gets into the act, looking more closely at some of the numbers:

This marginalization of Stuckey’s role could have something to do with how he’s playing. After all, he’s used to being the key ball handler and offensive creator for his team but is making the full-time move to shooting guard this season with the emergence of Brandon Knight at point guard. With the Pistons also looking to be more of a post up oriented team with Greg Monroe demanding more of an offensive role, Stuckey could just be struggling to find his way in a new role as an off the ball player.

That said, even when he has the ball he’s not really looking to be the same attack style player he has been in his first five seasons. He’s still driving the ball into the paint well — half his shots this season have come in the restricted area — but he’s not hunting contact like he has in season’s past, instead trying to be more of a finesse player around the basket. Per-36 minutes his free throw attempts per game are the lowest of his career and is indicative of his lack of assertion around the basket.

Stuckey definitely seems to be shying away from contact some on his drives, but he’s also getting fewer calls than he was last season. This could be because he’s forcing things more and perhaps officials aren’t as willing to give him bailout calls. Who knows. That part of Stuckey’s struggles are hard to explain.

But adding to the numbers Soriano points out, Stuckey’s defensive rating of 114 ties his career-worst. His total rebounding percentage of 4.8 percent so far is a career low. His steal percentage of 0.6 percent is a career low. So his shooting struggles have been compounded by the fact that he’s off-setting the lack of offensive production by also not really contributing in other areas where he usually makes passable contributions.

Tags: Rodney Stuckey