Player Boston Celtics must account for No. 1) P.J. Tucker
A savvy veteran with over 13 years of NBA experience, P.J. Tucker has made a name for himself as being a stable presence, both in the locker room and when on the floor.
Though not a star by any stretch of the word, the 37-year-old is an individual who has and will continue to put his body on the line in any way possible in an effort to help his team win. We saw this last season when he was serving as a heavily utilized role player for the eventual NBA Champion Milwaukee Bucks, and we’ve seen this all throughout the 2021-22 campaign, especially during this year’s postseason.
This has been displayed both through the eye test as well as via the advanced stats, for, in 10 of 14 playoff contests participated in this year with Miami, Tucker has logged a positive plus-minus rating, many of which were when he’s posted five or fewer points.
Unlike the vast majority of difference-makers in the league who go out and stuff the stat sheet, Tucker’s impact has always been made by means of his energy, hustle, and, simply, by making smart plays on both ends of the floor.
During his tenure in the association, the forward has established himself as someone who will always tend to make the right play for his team throughout a contest, be it by means of converting on clutch buckets down the stretch (something he did to the demise of the Boston Celtics in Game 3) or keeping with his assignments to a tee when on defense (something he also did pristinely in Saturday’s exhibition).
Last contest, we saw the veteran even outshining C’s superstar Jayson Tatum, as he managed to outscore (17 to 10), outrebound (seven to six), and outshoot (50 percent shooting from the field in comparison to 21 percent shooting) him in just shy of 38 minutes played.
In Game 4, should he be as efficient as he was in their last bout, it will almost certainly be a long night for Boston.