The Philadelphia 76ers listened to their superstar Joel Embiid during his press conference after the Miami Heat eliminated the team. Embiid called for P.J. Tucker while he was heading home and Tucker was on his way to the Eastern Conference Finals with his team.
This season, Tucker’s tenure with the Sixers has been controversial among the fanbase. The fanbase fears that “Father Time” has caught up to Tucker and he can not be trusted in the playoffs. I would like to pose the perspective that P.J. Tucker should be trusted in the playoffs because that is precisely why Tucker was brought in.
The 76ers fanbase shouldn’t give up on P.J. Tucker just yet
I understand the panic. It triggers the negative attitude that this solid, tough vet finally craps out when he gets to Philly to play with Embiid who requested to play with him. Tucker has not looked close to the player playing for Miami last season. Tucker played around 30 minutes per game contributing 8.2 points per game, 5.9 rebounds per game, and shooting almost fifty percent from the three-point line against the Sixers. Also, Tucker has been dealing with hand and knee problems.
Tucker has been a controversial topic in the fanbase as he made the wrong kind of history in November. Scoring drought aside, how can you not trust this guy? The 37-year-old was brought here to bring the stuff that doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet. The toughness, the grittiness, the correct defensive positioning, and the hustle is all brought by Tucker. It is only January and P.J. is a vet who knows how to preserve his best performances for the playoffs, just a little reminder to everyone reading.
How could someone not be trusted to do their job in the playoffs with Philly if they have never played with Philly? The question sounds a little foolish. It’s not like a guy of much less prestige is getting this shot. It is P.J. Tucker, the embodiment of a winning player. The continuing trust in Tucker affects the two top dogs in the Sixers’ locker room. Both Joel Embiid and James Harden are fond of what Tucker brings to the court and the locker room.
Another conclusion I thought of if the team decided to rescind trust in Tucker is that the fanbase would be up in arms for a player who does P.J.-like things that produce the winning that he has been a part of. As for Philadelphia 76ers fans, patience is needed for the well-respected vet. It would be an overreaction and overcorrection to abandon the 37-year-old services in the playoffs.