Leading scorer Rodney Stuckey went from limbo to the limelight in 24 hours.
After getting benched for two consecutive games, including a road loss in Washington Tuesday, Stuckey played 34 minutes in Detroit’s victory over New Jersey Wednesday. Stuckey was the first reserve off the bench and ended up playing the entire second half when Will Bynum suffered a right knee strain.
That’s just another example of why everyone should expect the unexpected from the Pistons, right to the bitter end of a bizarre season.
“Rodney Stuckey is an integral part of this organization,” head coach John Kuester said. “It’s important that messages have to be sent. We have to stay disciplined.”
Stuckey was benched for refusing to reenter in the fourth quarter against Chicago Friday. It was the third incident this season in which Stuckey defied Kuester and subsequently lost playing time.
Stuckey wasn’t surprised that he was back in the rotation. He scored 16 of his 22 points and made eight of his 10 assists during the second half while collecting his fifth double-double this season.
“We already dealt with that. It was a situation that was already taken care of,” he said. “I just let my emotions get in the way. I’m still a young player. I’m really passionate about this game and I just let my emotions get in the way. I got punished and it’s over.”
With Bynum’s status uncertain for Friday’s game against Milwaukee, Stuckey might even be in the starting lineup.
“Whenever I’m not out there on the court competing with my teammates, it (stinks),” he said. “I want to be out there fighting with them as well. I got punished but everything’s good now, so let’s move on.”
PISTONS 116, NETS 109: The Pistons overcame a career-high 39 points by Nets center Brook Lopez Wednesday by shooting 55.1 percent from the field. They held Lopez scoreless in the final 9:50 by switching to a zone. Richard Hamilton had a team-high 25 points and nine assists.
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