Rodney Stuckey, here shootings over Chauncey Billups during practice, has been sidelined with a broken thumb. (Clarence Tabb, Jr. / Detroit News)
Auburn Hills — Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey was cleared to play in Saturday night’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedEx Forum in Memphis. It is the Pistons’ first road game and Stuckey’s first after slamming his hand in his car door and breaking a bone in his thumb on Oct. 9.
Pistons coach Maurice Cheeks said he got clearance from doctors Thursday morning but does not know whether Stuckey will start.
“I think he is ready to play,” Cheeks said.
Stuckey took extra shooting practice Thursday and earlier this week played in three-on-three and four-on-four games. He left the practice facility without speaking to the media.
But what is Stuckey as a player? That has been debated among fans and NBA experts for years. Is he a point guard or a shooting guard?
He was drafted to be a leader of the team. But that did not work out and he has had a number of roles. He has started 260 of 410 games.
So is he a point guard or starting guard?
He is neither, Cheeks said. He said the league has changed and that most guards are combination guards who are more versatile than the guys Cheeks played against in Philadelphia.
“It is probably one of the things that can get players in trouble,” Cheeks said. “In the basketball era today I don’t think there are any more two (shooting) guards or one (point) guards. I don’t think you have to regulate or put a stamp on a guy that he is a one or a two. In many cases these guys are basketball players, and Rodney Stuckey fits into that category, that he is a basketball player. If we put a stamp on him that he is a point guard, then we are not going to utilize everything that he is capable of.”
Cheeks has still got it
Cheeks stopped his meeting with the media when he was asked what concerns him.
“It concerns me that I see Andre Drummond shooting 3-point shots,” Cheeks joked. “I am not sure I am happy about that.”
Cheeks went out later and beat Drummond in a best-two-of-three shooting contest.