PISTONS NOTES: Stuckey excelling in sixth man role
With Brandon Jennings battling an illness Tuesday night and Will Bynum and Chauncey Billups both inactive with injuries, Stuckey had to play a bigger role and he responded with a season-high 21 points and five assists in the Pistons win over the Knicks.
“Stuckey did a nice job,” Pistons coach Mo Cheeks said. “Put the ball in his hands and he was able to make plays for us. ... We kept the ball in his hands and he made plays for us.”
Stuckey is averaging 14.2 points and 2.3 assists on the season and 17.7 points and 3.3 assists, while shooting 51.1 percent from the field in his last three.
Cheeks likes Stuckey in the sixth man role because of his ability to score. Cheeks believes the top sixth men are able to come in and score.
“I think Stuckey fits that mold,” Cheeks said. “When he comes in the game the ball usually goes in his hands and he makes plays. He doesn’t just try to score, but he has the ability to score. He makes plays for other people. ... When a guy has the ability to score they become very valuable coming off the bench like that.”
Stuckey said whether it’s looking for his shot or setting up his teammates, he just tries to bring energy off the bench.
“You gotta come in and just play,” Stuckey said. “Just be aggressive, play your game. Just play basketball. That’s what I’m here to do. I just try to come in, bring energy and be that sparkplug off the bench. That’s what Mo and my teammates need me to do, I’m going to continue to do it.”
When Cheeks took the Pistons job he was very complimentary of Stuckey and Cheeks’ appreciation for the seventh-year guard continues to grow.
“He’s so versatile,” Cheeks said. “He has the ability to score. He has the ability to play with the ball, off the ball. He plays a full game. He’s play an old school kind of game where he has a mid-range game. Nowadays you see a lot of guys either shoot the 3 or go all the way to the rim. He can play a mid-range game, he can get to the rim or he can shoot a 3. ... His knowledge of the game is pretty high level. I just watched his package and I knew he had some abilities.”
Siva gets an opportunity
The injuries to Billups and Bynum as well as Jennings battling an upset stomach led to Peyton Siva getting an opportunity.
Siva played his first non-garbage time minutes Tuesday night. Siva had two rebounds, two fouls and one turnover in just over 11 minutes.
“I think I played within my game,” Siva said. “I just try to run the team, play good defense and bring a lot of energy. Just change the pace of the game.”
The second-round pick out of Louisville admitted he had a little nerves when he was checking into the game, but they went away once he started playing.
“You have to gather yourself and be composed out there,” Siva said. “You don’t want to try to do anything that you’re not used to doing. Go out there and play your game. I think I did a good job out there. Coach really liked the way I played defense. He put me back in, meaningful minutes. I just tried to go out there and perform.”
Cheeks has expressed confidence in Siva all season even though he hasn’t played and feels he can count on Siva when he needs to.
“I’m not afraid to play Peyton,” Cheeks said. “He’s always ready. He puts his time in when he’s not playing. Watching him in the preseason, he’s not afraid of any moment. I’m not afraid to play him and he knows when somebody goes out, the chance of him going in the game is (good). He’s always ready. I’m not afraid to play that guy at all.”
Rookie Kentavious Caldwell-Pope made his third straight start of the season and finished with 13 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes. Caldwell-Pope hit three 3-pointers, but it was his defense that impressed his coach.
“He was good defensively,” Cheeks said. “The way he guarded on the ball. He guarded JR Smith pretty good and he is a very good offensive player. A lot of these guys he’s seeing for the first time so for him to be able to defend them the way the he defends them, it’s pretty good for him. But he guarded on the ball extremely well. That’s the reason why he’s able to be in the game at the end of the game because he can move his feet and he can guard one-on-one as well as anybody on our team.”