Tucker’s dazzling dedication shone again.
The Philadelphia 76ers won 126-119 in a match against the Denver Nuggets in the 2022-2023 NBA regular season held at Wells Fargo in Philadelphia on the 29th (hereinafter Korean time).
It was a match that drew a lot of attention with the head-to-head match between center Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic, who represent the East and West. The game unfolded fiercely as expected, and Philadelphia continued its recent upswing by winning a come-from-behind victory.
Even until the first half, the performances of Embiid and Jokic were close. Embiid (19 points) scored 3 more points than Jokic (16 points) and grabbed 7 more rebounds, but Yokic had the upper hand in efficiency. While Embiid attempted 17 field goals to record 19 points, Jokic showed concentration by throwing 7 and putting in 6.
However, while Embiid performed a one-man show in the attack in the second half, Yokichi’s power plummeted and the fates of the two players were divided. Philadelphia, which blocked Jokic’s challenge for MVP for three consecutive years, defeated the formidable opponent Denver and succeeded in winning seven consecutive victories.
What changes have occurred? Philadelphia’s winning numbers worked well. In the first half, if the matchup was structured so that Embiid could block Jokic as standard, in the second half Jokic’s full-time defender was replaced by PJ Tucker. Tucker blocked the attack in the direction of Yokichi from the front, and Embiid changed the defense by falling back and coping with the opponent’s movement.
The strategy to block Yokichi from the process of catching the ball was effective. Coach Doc Rivers pointed out, “In the first half, Nicola Jokic caught everything in the elbow and low areas. So we made a change in the second half. Joel Embiid scored 47 points, but we couldn’t win if PJ Tucker didn’t play.”
196cm Tucker was hit by 211cm Jokic and desperately put his energy into defense. Jokic had difficulty even catching the ball, and he couldn’t fully play his hand-off play. Jokic’s power was greatly reduced as Tucker held on and other Philadelphia players appropriately assisted defense.
In particular, Tucker’s role was absolute at the end of the game, when Philadelphia solidified its winning streak. At the point when the team was allowed to pursue a three-point lead with one minute left in the end, Tucker changed the flow with a footback score after a decisive offensive rebound, and in the ensuing possession, he even managed to steal against Jokic, striking the final blow. 스포츠토토
Jokichi, who was intensively checked by Tucker, managed only 2 out of 5 field goals in the second half and only scored 8 points. He was caught in Philadelphia’s net defense and committed 6 turnovers. On the other hand, Embiid, who was relieved of the defensive burden by Tucker, was excited by scoring 28 points in the second half alone. Tucker’s score that day was only 4 points, but the nutritional value was a perfect score.
Coach Rivers praised Tucker, saying, “Tucker has a lot of experience and knows how to play basketball. That’s why we recruited him.” Embiid also applauded, saying, “Tucker was fantastic today. Tucker held up physically, didn’t let Jokic catch the ball and allowed space. That’s why we won the game.”
Tucker is averaging just 3.3 points this season, but his place in Philadelphia is solid. He helps his team win with his defensive ability to block various positions, his dedicated hustle play, and his experience as a veteran. Even if his offense is the weakest of the 30 club starters, it’s clear why Tucker earns a salary of over $10 million.
Tucker experienced his first NBA career win in Milwaukee in the 2020-2021 season. Can he reunite with James Harden this season and enjoy the joy of winning again?