Every NBA team needs a guy who does the dirty work which doesn’t show up in the box score. James Harden and the Houston Rockets have that guy in PJ Tucker.
In an interview with Sam Amick of The Athletic, Harden talked about why he’s so “appreciative” of Tucker and everything he does for the Rockets on a daily basis:
“Yeah, I think he’s been overlooked,” Harden said. “You talk about a guy who plays that role and a glue guy who does what he’s supposed to do every…single…night. He’s at the top of that list. Not a lot of people love doing that role if it’s not showing up on the stat sheet or if it’s not looking flashy, like the dirty dog, diving on the floor, taking charges, those types of plays that win games. He loves it. He embraces it, so I’m appreciative of him.”
Tucker has appeared in 58 games for the Rockets this season. He’s averaging 7.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.6 assists while shooting 44.1 percent from the field, 37.4 percent from beyond the arc and 84.1 percent from the free-throw line.
The Rockets are 38-20 on the season. They are in fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
Houston will be asking Tucker to guard centers once the playoffs start. The Rockets are embracing the small-ball era by not playing with a big man. They traded center Clint Capela to the Atlanta Hawks at the trade deadline, acquired Robert Covington from the Minnesota Timberwolves and signed Jeff Green and DeMarre Carroll off the open market.