Rodney Stuckey comes in at the 220th spot of this year’s NBA Player Rankings by ESPN, down from 171st last season.
While he didn’t raise his career scoring average significantly he made the most of the minutes he played coming off the bench and had a career year as a shooter. William Furr looked at the numbers at the end of the season hoping to figure out if this was something Stuckey could keep going.
There are two figures that really stand out, however.
The first: Rodney Stuckey, a career 28.6% shooter from behind the arc coming into this season, shot 39% from deep for the Pacers.
A jump like seems like fool’s gold. It is possible — even likely — that Stuckey will regress to the mean in future seasons. Players his age almost never improve as shooters to that degree. There are some examples — Jason Kidd, most notably — but it is rare.
There are some signs that his 3-point shooting is more than just a hot streak, however. He may be an exception.
Typically, these fool’s gold type instances will be buoyed by a singular hot streak, but after starting the season around his average, he was quite consistent, shooting better than 39% from deep in each of December, February, March, and April. Stuckey certainly had a few hot streaks scoring the ball, but his shooting from deep was good for a large part of the year.
His shooting from deep raised his TS% (52.8%) and helped his PER (15.4) to their highest they’ve been since his 2011-2012 season, and he posted the best defensive rating since his abbreviated rookie year. There’s obviously no way to tell one way or the other if the change is permanent or was an aberration, but good signs abound.
Stuckey is likely to play a similar roll as the Indiana Pacers 6th man this season and we’ll find out if his shooting is fool’s gold or something much more valuable.