P.J. Tucker continues to get support from his Philadelphia 76ers teammates. After the Sixers beat the Washington Wizards on March 12, Georges Niang sounded off on the 37-year-old 3&D wing for how valuable he is despite his lack of scoring.
“He’s such a selfless player that he doesn’t care about that stuff,” Niang told Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire. “He had his glory, scoring or whatever you want to call it, but he finds excitement, happiness, in us winning and doing the little things that a lot of people aren’t willing to do.”
Tucker did not attempt a single shot against the Wizards, and yet he had a plus/minus of plus-13, which tied for second-highest with Joel Embiid behind only James Harden. Niang talked about how rare it is to find someone like Tucker whose primary focus is helping the team win even if he’s not scoring.
“You don’t find too many guys that are willing to do that,” Niang added while speaking with Carlin. “Especially, in the back half of their career and where they’ve had success doing things a certain way and he’s bought into that and continue to help us grow on that side of the ball and just continue to show us what it’s like to play championship basketball.”
Tobias Harris Praised P.J. Tucker
In an interview with Carlin on March 4, Harris explained how Tucker impacts the Sixers on the court positively. First, Harris talked about why it’s stupid to judge Tucker by his low-scoring numbers.
“When anybody talks about the points scored is an idiot just because there isn’t much opportunity for him to go out and average eight or nine points. The man shoots the ball two times a game, so that’s a (expletive) claim.,” Harris said.
Harris added the kind of impact Harris has around playoff time.
“He’s a guy who’s a winner, and every big game we’re in, those big teams and games that we play that felt like playoff environments, he’s out there making an impact. That’s where his game shines the most and also, just him being a vocal guy on this team, a leader, he’s the anchor to our defense, he can guard 1 through 5, he sacrifices offensively.”
Tucker’s experience speaks for itself, having made at least the conference finals with his previous three teams – the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat.
Tyrese Maxey Singles Out P.J. Tucker For Improvement
Maxey revealed in an interview with Carlin that Tucker has been the one urging Maxey to get better on the defensive end from the start of the season.
“All year,” Maxey told Carlin. “Ever since he got here. He’s been telling me that there’s no reason that I can’t be a really good defender on this team, and I just appreciate him for that.”
Maxey then detailed how Tucker has encouraged him to get better on that end of the floor.
“He was saying like, ‘Bro, you’re not a bad defender. Stop letting them call you a bad defender’,” Maxey added. “He told me to go out there and compete and be myself every single night, and I think I’ve been going that as of late. Trying to pick up, bother guys, take them out of their comfort zone, and it’s been working.”