New Sixers veteran addition claims to be a ‘chameleon’

PJ Tucker, Chameleon

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PJ Tucker #17 of the Miami Heat celebrates after scoring a 3-point shot against the Boston Celtics in the second quarter of game six of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals.

The offseason prize for the Philadelphia 76ers was PJ Tucker, whom the team handed to a three-year, $33 million contract just minutes after starting free agency. Several members of the Sixers pointed to the team’s lack of toughness following their postseason exit, and Tucker looks set to help change that fundamentally. The veteran indicated he’s been interested in coming to Philly for quite some time and his arrival has finally come.

Early in training camp, the Sixers began figuring out the fits for each team member on the court. While some have questioned Tucker’s suitability alongside Tobias Harris, the veteran has no qualms about his ability to take on any role he is asked for. While talk to the media After training camp, Tucker stated:

“I’m a chameleon. I can fit in anywhere, in any scheme. I’m a guy who just does his job. Period. It might not be nice. It might not be the most glamorous thing, but it’s all about getting the job done because at the end of the day, winning is all that matters. It’s all people remember is winning and that’s all that matters,” per Ky Carlin of SixersWire.


Tucker’s anticipated role

While there hasn’t been an official announcement, all indications are that Tucker will replace Matisse Thybulle on the starting lineup this season. The veteran played a valuable role with the Miami Heat last season, which knocked the Sixers out of the playoffs in the second round. He has experience with James Harden and Daryl Morey while with the Rockets and has played in at least 10 postseason games in each of the last six seasons.

His versatile defense and ability to knock down corner three-pointers will fit seamlessly into this Sixers roster. Tucker is expected to fill in Danny Green’s shoes from across the arc and bring more to the team in other areas as well. Tucker’s best statistical seasons were with the Rockets. In the 2018/19 postseason, he averaged 11.4 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 45.6% on three-pointers. He played 38.7 minutes per game during that stretch.


quantifying its toughness

His on-court skills are certainly attractive, but the toughness and intangibles are the real reason the Sixers went after Tucker. After the disappointing elimination in the second round Joel Embiid mentioned the scrappy veteran namely for the influence on the game he has. As the superstar put it to the media after the post-season exit:

“You’re looking at someone like PJ Tucker. A great player, but it’s not about him throwing shots. It’s about what he’s doing, whether that’s on defense or rebounding the ball. They obviously look defensive, he plays with so much energy, thinks he can get from point A to point B and he thinks nobody can beat him. And he’s tough. He’s just physical and he’s tough. And they have some of these guys, be it Bam (Adebayo) and all these guys. And since I’ve been here, I’d be lying if I said we had guys like this. Nothing against what we have, it’s just the truth. We never had PJ Tucker. That’s really what I’m trying to say. So, I think physicality — especially when you’re getting into the playoffs or the later rounds — you need it. You need these guys that are really tough,” via Dan Feldman of NBCSports.com.

Embiid got his wish and the Sixers were able to land Tucker this offseason. Early signs have been positive in terms of his on-pitch fitness and time will tell if he is the missing piece in the way the team hopes. For now, it’s clear that Tucker has no interest in fitting into this Sixers team, and it’ll be seen how that translates to live game action soon.

https://heavy.com/sports/philadelphia-76ers/pj-tucker-sixers-chameleon/ New Sixers veteran addition claims to be a ‘chameleon’

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