Philadelphia 76ers bruiser P.J. Tucker has been the butt of the joke this season for not contributing much on offense. He even had a stretch of four games where he didn't put up any points. However, the 37-year-old journeyman isn't losing sleep over it because he knows what his role for the Sixers is.
"As long as we're winning, it doesn't matter," Tucker said. "Of course you want to get more shots. What player doesn't? But with the way we play — Coach [Doc Rivers] talks about a lack of ball movement all the time — it's one of those things. Sometimes you get shots, sometimes you don't. You keep playing and figure it out."
Playing his role to a T
While the 6-foot-5 forward did admit that his limited touches on offense can get to his head, P.J. has clearly been more focused on ensuring that he executes his 3-and-D role well. To be fair, Tucker has been one of the best at it in the past seasons. He even helped the Milwaukee Bucks win the title in the 2020-21 season and the Miami Heat reach the conference finals last season.
Because of his ability to help playoff contenders, Tucker was in demand in the past offseason, with multiple teams competing for his services.
Missing The Beard
The veteran's offensive repertoire has been limited since he entered the league. Tucker typically can't create his own shot and relies on kick-outs from more offensively skilled teammates or putbacks off misses. Thus, the absence of a reliable playmaker can expose his limitation on offense.
That has been the case for Tucker in the past 10 games, for which James Harden has not suited up due to a strained foot. In fact, during that span, Tucker has made just two 3-pointers. The University of Texas at Austin acknowledged how difficult it has been without Harden directing the offense.
"It's different with James because James kind of controls the game," Tucker said. "He gets everybody the ball. Without James, it's tough — that's why the ball has to move even more."
For the Sixers, though, they have no problem with Tucker not lighting up the scoreboard because he impacts the game in ways that cannot be seen in the box score. Philly teammate Tobias Harris recently defended the enforcer.
The sneakerhead said it best. As long as the team is winning, him not scoring is not much of an issue. Hopefully, the Sixers can start winning more games, as they are just 11-9.