After an MRI revealed a strain in his left calf, the Pacers ruled Rodney Stuckey out for Wednesday's game against the Washington Wizards.
During Indiana's 7-game win streak, Stuckey was considered a major contributing factor to his team's success as he averaged a team-high 19.4 points on 48.0% shooting. Over that same span of time, Indiana's most used 5-man bench unit, including C.J. Watson and Stuckey joined by Damjan Rudež, Luis Scola and Ian Mahinmi, outscored opponents by 15.8 points per 100 possessions.
Since then, the bench has been less than impressive, but it was particularly bad in Stuckey's absence Monday against the Houston Rockets. In limited court time, Watson, Miles, Rudež, Scola and Mahinmi only mustered 73.5 points per 100 possessions and got outscored by a mammoth 70.1 points per 100 possessions.
Now in the midst of a 6-game losing streak and still fighting for a playoff berth on a night when the Nets (29-40) travel to Charlotte (30-39) and Miami (32-38) faces the Celtics (31-39), Indiana's super-sub cannot return soon enough.
The Pacers are 3-6 this season in games without Stuckey. Without their top reserve, the Pacers are going to need multiple players to step up if they want to head to Milwaukee with a win already under their belt. Notably, out of any team Roy Hibbert has faced this season, Washington is the one he has struggled against the most, averaging only 3.0 points on just 9.1% shooting. He has fared much better against the Bucks, averaging 17.0 points and 7.0 rebounds on 61.9% shooting.
Stuckey is averaging 12.9 and 3.5 rebounds while shooting a career-best 44.9% from the field and 38.3% from behind the arc. The first-year Pacer will continue to be day-to-day.