When one looks at the stat line for PJ Tucker after the Philadelphia 76ers knocked off the Sacramento Kings on Saturday to finish a 5-0 road trip, nothing will stand out.
The veteran had three rebounds, he missed his only triple try, he had three fouls, a technical foul, and he was a minus-14 in 19 minutes. It was a night Tucker would rather forget statistically, but he still made an impact.
Tucker, who has been through so many battles in his NBA career, kept Philadelphia in it and kept their heads right and focused despite trailing the Kings by 21. He is the vocal leader that the Sixers have been in need of over the past few seasons.
“That’s why you have him on your team,” coach Doc Rivers told reporters. “Tuck pays dividends for us, and I know his numbers and people get sideways with that, but there were five or six rebounds down the stretch, Tuck cleared out three people. He didn’t get the rebound, there should be a stat called rebound assists, because he had a ton of those.”
Those are the little things that don’t show up in a box score. Tucker, despite averaging only 3.3 points and 4.1 rebounds, makes an impact for this Sixers team. He always makes those winning plays in order to make sure his team gets an extra possession and is able to be in a position to win games.
He is also one of their better screen setters as he was able to get Georges Niang free for a triple.
“The play for Georges was one of his picks,” Rivers added. “He’s our best picks setter. So he does so many little things that really pay off for us.”
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