Ranking the Sixers’ most important defenders

P.J. Tucker, Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
P.J. Tucker, Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /

P.J. Tucker

The biggest offseason acquisition for the 76ers was P.J. Tucker, an absolute dog known for doing the dirty work and giving unrelenting effort. Tucker has familiarity with both Daryl Morey, Sixers general manager, and James Harden as they were all in Houston together during the Rockets tenure as a perpetual Western Conference contender.

More recently though, Tucker was a key member of the Milwaukee Bucks 2021 NBA Championship team. He started the majority of playoff games for the Bucks in the playoffs that year and his contributions largely did not show up on the stat sheet, even though they were extremely impactful.

Last season, Tucker played for the Miami Heat and his timely 3-pointers and aggressive defense were a large reason that the 76ers were eliminated by the Heat in the NBA playoffs. Signing Tucker as a free agent is not only a direct gain for the Sixers, but also an indirect gain in that he will not be causing us problems on an opposing Eastern Conference contender like the Bucks or Heat from years’ past.

What the Sixers need from Tucker this year is his aggressive defense and he can absolutely be the leader that gives this defense an identity if need be. He secures an impressive amount of rebounds for someone 6-foot-5 and we will need him to continue doing that here. Tucker joining the Sixers is not only beneficial for the team, but him as well. As mentioned on the prior slide, Tucker will be able to play more risky, within reason, now that he has Embiid behind him in the paint.