Rodney Stuckey has been a revelation of late as he's played a monster role in helping the Pacers win 13 of their last 15 games. The guy the Pacers hoped would fill in for Lance Stephenson's role in the playing rotation, has adapted a different role but filled the need and then some.
We're talking 20 lbs. of spuds in a 10 lbs. bag. Plenty left over from filling in for Lance to actually lift the Pacers to another level.
Hard to think of a player who arrived with fewer expectations in free agency, only to turn into a rock in the rotation that the Pacers now have to figure out how to keep. Mark Montieth reported on how the Pacers and Stuckey had struck up a strong working relationship, one both would like to extend past the one-year veteran minimum deal signed last summer.
"I want to be here," he said. "When that time comes, we'll definitely figure something out." Coach Frank Vogel is on board with that, saying before the game the plan all along has been to make Stuckey a more permanent fixture of the team.
The low expectations for Stuckey were driven by the perception of how his last couple of years went in Detroit and as Stuckey said, those perceptions were fueled by people with the Pistons "throwing him under the bus."
Instead of problems, Stuckey has delivered solutions for the Pacers and been a veteran pro's pro while he adapted to his new team and worked through different roles before landing on a sixth-man role that has been spectacular.
"I love it here, man," he said. "I'm staying in the city, close to everything. I love it here. My family loves it here. I love the people in this organization. Definitely, I want to come back. That's a no-brainer. Having a guy like Paul George here, of course I want to come play with an All-Star. Who doesn't? Definitely want to be back here."
Certainly a pleasant thought, considering Stuckey coming off the bench when Paul George is back in the mix next year. Hopefully that daydream becomes reality.
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