Auburn Hills — Rodney Stuckey had the same observations about Wednesday's game as everyone else, as far as rookie Kyle Singler's seamless transition into the starting lineup in emergency duty, a move that resulted in the Pistons' first win.
So if Lawrence Frank wants to keep rolling with Singler in the first five, Stuckey has no problem with it — in fact, the more the sixth-year guard spoke, the more he seemed to warm up to the idea of being a super sixth-man, in the mold of the Clippers' Jamal Crawford and the Knicks' J.R. Smith. He almost campaigned for the change.
"I can be the guy to come off the bench and just attack and bring energy with Will (Bynum) and those guys," said Stuckey, feeling better after a flu bug kept him from making the trip to Philadelphia. "I don't mind it at all. Whatever coach wants me to do, I'm happy. I'm not beating my head about it."
There's only one problem, though. Frank seems steadfast to the idea of Stuckey returning to the starting lineup for tonight's game against the Magic.
"Same lineup, we haven't changed. Everything's the same," Frank said after practice. "He looked better."
Stuckey said he was bed-ridden Wednesday, courtesy of a flu passed along by his soon-to-be-13 month old son.
"I was puking, I'm fine now. It's something going around my household," said Stuckey, while adding he watched parts of the game between bouts of his stomach acting up.
What Stuckey likely saw Wednesday and then in Thursday's film session was a first unit that played fluidly and cohesively in the Pistons' 94-76 rout of the 76ers. Singler's perpetual motion and spot-up shooting meshed well with Brandon Knight and Greg Monroe, as he scored 16 points in 40 minutes.
In fact, it wouldn't be surprising if Stuckey volunteered to come off the bench to keep continuity — and perhaps to jumpstart his own season.
"It doesn't matter to me, I don't really care about starting," Stuckey said. "The only thing that happens about starting is they call your name. Whatever helps our team wins. If Kyle is better with the first group, he should start."
The second unit plays a style more conducive to Stuckey's — attacking, going to the basket and seemingly with a little less structure.
Playing with the likes of Corey Maggette and Andre Drummond can conceivably open things up for Stuckey, as he'll be able to handle the ball more as opposed to playing with the first unit.
"What about Will Bynum?" Frank shot back upon the suggestion of Stuckey having more opportunities to create with the ball. "You always have to do what's best for the team, not what's best for the individual. I think when the focus is individual over team, that's when you get problems."
But the Pistons aren't committed to developing Bynum; Frank has repeatedly stated the evaluation and growth of Knight is an ongoing process, so Knight has handled the bulk of playcalling and ballhandling duties, compared to last season, when the Stuckey-Knight combo shared responsibilities.
The role change has put Stuckey in a precarious spot, although Stuckey is better equipped to defend athletic shooting guards than Singler. Frank likes having the security of Stuckey being able to create shots in the first unit and as an occasional ballhandler.
"I just look at the performance," Frank said. "Like I said about Kyle, I'm very comfortable with him. With him, if he continues to play that way, he'll get time."
Although Stuckey doesn't want to be a point guard, he's at his best when he has the ball in his hands, probing and attacking defenses. Early this season, he's found himself in the corner standing still, waiting on the offense to make its way to him.
Driving lanes have been clogged and by his own admission, Stuckey isn't a stand-still three-point shooter. To say Stuckey started off slow is an understatement, as he's shooting just 28 percent and averaging 9.3 points and 4.3 assists in eight games.
"I'd love doing that, I'd have no problems, whatever 'L' wants me to do," Stuckey said. "I thought Kyle played phenomenal, he did an excellent job. If I need to come off the bench, I'll do whatever I need to."