The Philadelphia 76ers’ offense is in peril as James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris battle injuries. The last two healthy starters, Joel Embiid and P.J. Tucker, have a lot of slack to pick up for the Sixers. Embiid is unquestionably up for the challenge. Tucker…not so much.
Tucker has gone three straight games without scoring a single point while playing at least 29 minutes in each game, which is nearly unheard of throughout NBA history. He has hardly been active in the Sixers’ offense overall, scoring a total of 68 points in 16 games this season.
PJ Tucker is on pace to average the fewest FGA per game (3.1) by any player with 28+ MPG in a season.
He has 0 points in 3 straight games. 17 total points in November. pic.twitter.com/VyBFKwLptD
— StatMuse (@statmuse) November 20, 2022
The incomprehensible lack of scoring from Tucker is partly caused by the fact that the Sixers’ best perimeter ball-handlers are dealing with injuries. Tucker is a spot-up shooter and occasional roller to the basket and off-ball cutter, so he hasn’t been expected to score all that much anyway. However, having such a small scoring repertoire depreciates the value he can have on offense, especially when the team is undermanned.
Tucker was never brought into Philadelphia to be a scorer with any serious volume but going three full games with no points is alarming. However, not all Sixers fans agree on just how bad Tucker has been. While some fans are disgruntled over Tucker’s lack of production…
Zero points the last three games. He’s played 95 minutes! I can’t believe there are people defending him. https://t.co/8OkbfFHwA0
— Subscribe to the You Know Ball Patreon (@TrillBroDude) November 20, 2022
@DocRivers you gotta stop this. The message is perfect but cmon how many games of 0 points and 30 minutes will you allow. Sixers playing 4 on 5, 3 on 5 most nights. Let Embiid had one poor shooting game you getting ran out the gym https://t.co/2OiYz1I2bM
— Cam “ Fortune 50000” 🦹🏾♂️😈😈 I am (@killa_cam86) November 20, 2022
…others are not as worried. Some are pointing to the role Tucker is supposed to have on the Sixers and the injuries to Harden and Maxey as reasons not to fret about Tucker’s struggles. His shooting efficiency — 55.1 percent from the field and 44.0 percent from deep, both career highs — is also buying him some appreciation from fans.
The Bucks literally won a title two years ago with Tucker averaging 4 points a game in the Finals.
I would be worried if this was happening with a fully healthy group, but you can’t expect Tucker to be a scorer of any kind without a true playmaker out there. https://t.co/xC6m4NgjCl
— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) November 20, 2022
Don’t understand some of the PJ Tucker convos in this fanbase, he’s been great defensively and has good shooting splits, would like to see him get some more shots though.
— Aidan Doc🧸 (@AidanDoc_) November 19, 2022
Although Doc Rivers is extremely fond of Tucker for his selflessness and defensive effort, his scoring weaknesses are a reason why the next few weeks (while Harden and Maxey recover from their injuries) seem so bleak for the Sixers. He will have to be stellar on defense while his buckets are few and far between.