BOSTON, MA -- Indiana Pacers guard Rodney Stuckey has officially been ruled out for tonight's game against the Boston Celtics. Stuckey sprained his right ankle during Monday's game against the Orlando Magic. Stuckey's ankle problem started on Sunday when he sprained his ankle against the Cavaliers. Stuckey is known for toughness and high pain tolerance, so playing the next day after an ugly looking ankle sprain was not surprising.
There is currently no timetable regarding Stuckey's return, but he will certainly be back as soon as he can. This time around the Pacers will have to be more careful with Stuckey's ankle. He was having problems with his ankle during the Magic game because of his sprain that he suffered against the Cavaliers. Of course it is crucial to have Stuckey in the rotation, but it is even more important to have him healthy.
Since the Pacers use Rodney Stuckey at both point guard and shooting guard off of the bench, George Hill and Monta Ellis will likely see a small increase in their minutes. Chase Budinger and C.J. Miles could see minute increases as well, because of how the rotation works out. Indiana plays the Celtics tonight and the Timberwolves on Friday, so Stuckey's next chance to return will be on Friday.
Joseph Young will have his best chance of getting minutes when Rodney Stuckey is out, but it is still unlikely that he will play tonight. If he does play in this game it will likely be for less than 5-minutes. This is because of the fact that Monta Ellis and George Hill are both quality primary ball handlers. This will allow for more play making opportunities for Hill and Ellis to be the primary play makers with an additional floor spacing shooter on the court. Thiere are positives for Paul George as well, but it is good to have Stuckey regardless.
The Pacers have the highest percentage of jump shot attempts in the entire NBA, so that is why having Stuckey is so important. He is great at attacking the defense off the dribble to get to the rim and setup his teammates, so that is what the Pacers will miss offensively from him. Stuckey's size and defensive effectiveness will be missed as well. But the Pacers match up well against the Celtics and can still effectively execute without him.