Jerry Stackhouse hadn’t played for nearly two months.
He looked, however, like he hadn’t played for about two days.
Stackhouse, playing his first minutes for the Nets since scoring six points in Houston on Jan. 26, went 5-for-6 and scored 10 points in 19:22 to help the Nets cruise to a 119-82 win over the Pistons in front of 16,072 inside The Palace of Auburn Hills.
“It’s always good to get out and compete,” Stackhouse said afterward. “I kind of understood the dynamic of what needed to happen. Coach [P.J. Carlesimo] came to me and told me what the deal was a couple months ago. ... He told me he was going to give the younger guys some time, and that the odd guy out would probably be me.
“But he told me to stay engaged and stay ready, and that when things roll back around I could be a factor in the playoffs. That’s what I’ve done. Obviously as a competitor you want to be out there and you want to compete, but I was sold on the big picture before I signed here, and nothing’s changed since then.”
Stackhouse, one of the most well-respected players within the Nets’ locker room, left his coaches and teammates marveling at his ability to be ready at a moment’s notice after such a long break after pulling off a variety of moves offensively — including a circus-shot layup on a fastbreak and a couple of post moves over Pistons rookie Khris Middleton — as well as getting a couple of blocks at the defensive end.
“I thought he played great,” said Deron Williams. “I thought for him to be out that many games, and for him to come in and play the way he did ... he’s always ready to play. When his number is called, he’s ready to go in and ready to contribute, and it’s good to see him back out here on the court, because we’re going to need him.”
Stackhouse returns to court after two-month layoff
New York Post | Mar 19