Despite doing many great things for the Houston Rockets, the power forward for the squad is in a bit of a shooting slump. Can he break out of it and help the team on that end of the court?
P.J. Tucker does many things for the Houston Rockets that doesn’t end up on the stat sheet. He plays incredible defense, sets great screens and hustles whenever needed, to name a few. One of his roles on the team, though, is to be able to knock down wide open corner 3s.
Unfortunately, he’s been struggling with his shot. While his other intangibles have mostly still been there (he played awesome defense on Kevin Durant two nights ago), he has continuously bricked his open 3s and it’s hurt the offense at times.
Over his past five games, Tucker is shooting just 18.2% (4/22) from deep and just 25% overall from the field. He’s been one of the best corner 3-point shooters in the league and it’s starting to look like he’s regressing a bit. To begin the season, P.J.’s shot from there was pretty much the only consistent thing during the rough start.
Hope for slump-breaking
How great has P.J. Tucker been at shooting 3s this year? Even after this shooting slump, he is still shooting 38.5% from downtown, second on the team by players with more than 50 attempts (though Austin Rivers is quickly approaching that mark and is shooting 38.7%). The MVP, James Harden, is shooting 38.9%, of course.
Before this slump, Tucker was shooting 41.4% from 3 on the year. He is a great shooter, but that likely wasn’t sustainable for him. This struggle is just bringing him back down to earth, and he now can get back to being a solid outside threat.
The minutes that Tucker plays also could have something to do with his recent slump. Along with being second on the team in 3-point shooting, he’s also second on the team in minutes per game (also to Harden) for players who have played over five games at 34.9.
P.J. is a durable and conditioned guy that you can throw out there for heavy minutes, but it eventually does wear down on anyone. It may be wise to cut down on his minutes just a bit if the Rockets want to sustain his shooting. Danuel House and Gary Clark are both young and can play the power forward spot. Maybe adding some minutes to those guys at that position would be wise moving forward.
Even if Tucker keeps playing heavy minutes, I’m sure he’ll re-find his shot again soon. And when he does, the Houston Rockets (who have been streaking in his slump) will be even more dangerous. Watch out, NBA. Will he catch fire against the Blazers tonight?