Houston Rockets: P.J. Tucker tops Kyle Kuzma in 3-point shooting contest
Houston Rockets’ forward P.J. Tucker beat Lakers’ forward Kyle Kuzma in a 3-point shooting contest at USA Basketball’s training camp.
Rockets’ forward P.J. Tucker is one of the most underrated 3-pointers shooters in the league. Tucker is an average distance shooter from straightaway, but he shot 39.3 percent on corner 3s last season and shot 37.7 percent from downtown overall.
Tucker’s corner 3-point shooting proficiency makes him a perfect fit in Houston’s typical offensive set, which has two guys at each corner and a player on the wing with the ball-handler and center running the pick-and-roll up top.
At USA Basketball’s training camp for the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Tucker, along with Kyle Kuzma, Brook Lopez and Joe Harris competed in a fun little 3-point shootout from the left corner. After Lopez and Harris fell out of the contest, it came down to just Kuzma and Tucker.
Of course, Tuck came out on top in this shootout.
While most casual NBA fans would’ve picked Kuzma, who’s an up-and-coming star and is more of a house hold name, over Tucker to win this shootout, most basketball aficionados and especially Rockets fans know just how proficient Tucker is in the corners.
In the postseason, Tucker was even more efficient from downtown than he was in the regular season, making 45.6 percent of his corner 3s over the course of 11 playoff games.
Tucker and Kuzma will see each other a lot during the regular season next year and the matchups between the Rockets and Lakers will be amongst the most-viewed games of the season. It could even be a preview of a potential star-studded postseason matchup between these two squads, where James Harden and Russell Westbrook would take on LeBron James and Anthony Davis in a blockbuster best-of-seven game series.
With most of the All-Stars declining their USA National Team invite, Tucker has a good chance to make the final 12-man roster out of the remaining 15 players, which includes stars like Kemba Walker, Donovan Mitchell and Kyle Lowry.
The USA Basketball National Team will play its first exhibition game against Spain, FIBA’s second ranked team, on Aug. 16. The final 12-man roster will be announced the following day on Aug. 17.