Milwaukee Bucks: Getting to know veteran forward P.J. Tucker

Feb 9, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports)
Feb 9, 2021; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Mar 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports)
Mar 20, 2021; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA (Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports) /

Why P.J. Tucker fits with the Milwaukee Bucks

As the Bucks have undergone a stylistic evolution defensively by incorporating more switching this season under head coach Mike Budenholzer, Tucker has come to Milwaukee at exactly the right time.

The versatile and high IQ defending that Tucker brings gives the Bucks an added dimension and specialist that will be needed to be as flexible as they can be come playoff time. And while his age and mileage does create some questions about how he’ll end up over the next few months, the Bucks are insulated with a defensive spine that can solider on as Tucker works his way into their system and overall rotation.

While Tucker’s positional versatility and defensive prowess are still on point, he simply excels doing all of the little things to irritate opponents. Tucker’s ability to slide and draw charges as well as diving for loose balls are all tricks he regularly pulls out of his bag. And with his nose for the ball, Tucker stands as a very solid rebounder for a player of his position.

While being one of the premier defensive stoppers in the league, Tucker made the necessary evolutions to stick in the league. The biggest point of emphasis was improving his 3-point shooting, which was helped primarily stationing himself in corner spots on the floor.

That said, there was a significant adjustment Tucker had to make in becoming a corner specialist as he discussed with Yaron Weitzman for Bleacher Report in March of 2019:

"“I’ve spent the past two years standing in the corners for 90 percent of the game,” he says. “And I still practice that shot more than any other.”"

To his credit, Tucker has made the most corner triples since returning to the NBA with the Suns in the 2012-13 season, per All that practice hasn’t come with perfection necessarily, but it has made Tucker a prolific shooter when on the court, a necessity with his low usage.

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As he continues finding his footing with the Bucks and they look to improve their positioning as the playoffs loom over everything they do this year, Tucker’s invaluable experience and role will be critical moving forward.