Rockets News

Rockets: P.J. Tucker has defined small ball this postseason

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 22: PJ Tucker #4 of the Houston Rockets reacts after a play against the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - MAY 22: PJ Tucker #4 of the Houston Rockets reacts after a play against the Golden State Warriors during Game Four of the Western Conference Finals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 22, 2018 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
facebooktwitterreddit

One of the most underrated players in the league has chosen the perfect time to be at his best.

The Houston Rockets just had their biggest win of the year last night. A huge part of the success is due to P.J. Tucker doing things that don’t get enough recognition.

Tucker had just 4 points last night but contributed so much on defense. He grabbed 16 rebounds for the Rockets and they were huge ones. His presence in the paint was much needed after the team started slowly on the glass.

P.J. also is showing the world what small ball truly is and how dangerous it is. Tucker is just 6’6, maybe, and is playing center in the most deadly lineup for the No. 1 seed in the NBA. His effort can truly not be ignored.

He signed with the Rockets during the summer for 4-years, $32 million. Thankfully, he chose less money per year and gets to play with his friend Chris Paul.

The Tuck Wagon lineup

The deadly Tuck Wagon lineup that puts P.J. Tucker at the center position has done a great job against the Warriors so far in this series.

It consists of Chris Paul/James Harden/Eric Gordon/Trevor Ariza/P.J. Tucker and it is a near-perfect blend of offense and defense. With the style of play of the Warriors, this lineup has had quite a few minutes. Clint Capela is a fantastic player, but there is only so much he can do in this series.

P.J. Tucker was used quite a bit last night. He played a team-high 44 minutes due to his versatility on both ends of the court. He can practically guard any player on the court for the Warriors with effectiveness.

Tucker’s shooting

P.J. Tucker has also been very impressive with his 3-point shooting this postseason. That’s one of the main reasons why he is truly defining what it means to be a small ball center in today’s NBA.

For the playoffs, Tuck is shooting a ridiculous 47.5% from deep. His ability to spread the floor has been beautiful with Ryan Anderson not being all the way back from injury. The defense has to respect his shot or he will make them pay. He was 0/2 last night, but he was 5/6 in the Game 2 win.

Overall, P.J. Tucker has quietly been one of the best players in the postseason for the Houston Rockets. He deserves more media attention than he is getting and he is really showing what the “Death Lineup” of the Rockets is all about.

Next: 3 Takeaways from Game 4

facebooktwitterreddit