The Houston Rockets came into the season with one goal in mind: to achieve what they were unable to accomplish last year by winning a title. The Houston Rockets struggled to start the season after some key departures, including Trevor Ariza, but they are currently peaking at the right time, with P.J. Tucker playing a key role.
Tucker has been able to stand his ground whenever he defends some of the best players from the opposing teams, and head coach Mike D'Antoni told CBS Sports' James Herbert that he's almost irreplaceable:
“To be honest with you, I don't know if anybody [could replace Tucker]. I'm sure there are some out there, maybe superstars. Maybe. But, then again, I don't think so because he's perfect for us.”
Tucker has always been given the toughest matchups, and he has gladly accepted that role. During last season's Western Conference Finals, Tucker had the task of guarding Kevin Durant, and he made life difficult on the Warriors star.
Tucker is expected to fill the same role this postseason:
“We know that we're going to plug P.J. in to the best player on the other team. He's going to guard that guy regardless of position. And we can switch off him. He just gives us so many options defensively. I can't calculate the value.”
While all the chatter surrounding the Rockets is usually about James Harden and Chris Paul, their lesser players are also playing a significant role in order to help the team succeed. Guys like Tucker do all the little things, whether they are noticed or not.
After all, it's all about winning the title, which is all P.J. Tucker cares about.