PJ Tucker is bringing grit to the Sixers
When PJ Tucker was signed to the Sixers at the very beginning of free agency, it wasn't exactly a popular move among Sixer fans. Using the full mid-level exception on a 37-year old player isn't exactly ideal, I get it, but Daryl taking a chance could pay off for the Sixers.
Tucker, of course, being a former Houston Rocket, has great chemistry with Harden, who has been the primary ball handler for the 76ers this season.
PJ Tucker's greatest attribute for the Sixers so far this season has been his versatility. He can play sound offense and great defense at any forward position, as well as filling the backup center role when needed. His physical fortitude and competitiveness is very evident when he is on the court. He brings a certain veteran, tough guy, presence to this team that is unique in its own right.
Doc made a strategical change in the rotation lineup and it helped the Sixers to get back into the game. The unconventional lineup of Harden-Melton-House-Harris-Tucker provided Philadelphia with a much needed spark in the 4th quarter. That lineup propelled the Sixers to a 13-0 run and eventually tied the game with less than five minutes remaining in the 4th quarter.
PJ Tucker, during that stretch of play showed why Daryl Morey took a chance on him with the mid-level exception. He showcased two phenomenal defensive plays on Jrue Holiday and then zipped a pass cross-court to Harden for the easy deuce.
One of the more underrated aspects of having Tucker on the squad is the never stop motor, which leads to offensive rebounds. Every team in the NBA is always looking for opportunities to capitalize on second chance possessions. That is what PJ Tucker has brought to the squad in just two games and he will continue to crash the offensive glass.
Obviously, the blocks and steals will be a factor with Tucker on the court. With him being undersized as a big, he has made a career in the NBA in being in the right spot at the right time.
Even when he does not grab a rebound, he never gives up on a play. Against Boston, this is exactly what happened. A failed attempt at trying to get the defensive board turned into another possession for the Celtics. Watch Tucker closely how he always says engaged with the play and ends up getting the block.
He is currently 1-4 on 3-pointers this season, and like every 76er player outside of Harden, he hasn't gotten off to the best of starts when shooting the ball. Tucker is a natural shooter from the corner. As long as he is consistently getting open looks, he will eventually start knocking them down.
PJ Tucker's minutes are starting to become much more of a discussion around the Sixers. There is no secret that he is old and playing him in tons of minutes a night will probably have him dead by mid-January. Last night he played 39 minutes, that is not sustainable. The good thing about Tucker is that no matter who is on the court for the Sixers, his role will not change. He will corner sit on offense and provide great help on defense. He is compatible with any line-up combination. So, when Furkan Korkmaz, Matisse Thybulle, and Shake Milton eventually see action on the court again, it will only effect the minutes that Tucker plays, which is a good thing. As long as PJ Tucker is healthy, he will be beneficial on the court for the Philadelphia 76ers.