Sixers Star Tyrese Maxey Unveils Strong Message From P.J. Tucker

Tyrese Maxey

Getty Tyrese Maxey of the Philadelphia 76ers

Since joining the Philadelphia 76ers in 2020, Tyrese Maxey has been known best for his scoring abilities. However, Maxey revealed that one Sixer has been encouraging him to ramp up his efforts as a defender – P.J. Tucker.

Maxey told Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire has been in his ear demanding him to be better on the defensive end from the beginning of the season.

“All year,” Maxey told Carlin. “Ever since he got here. He’s been telling me that there’s no reason that I can’t be a really good defender on this team, and I just appreciate him for that.”

Maxey then went into further detail about what Tucker has been telling him and how that’s influenced his defense.

“He was saying like, ‘Bro, you’re not a bad defender. Stop letting them call you a bad defender’,” Maxey added. “He told me to go out there and compete and be myself every single night, and I think I’ve been going that as of late. Trying to pick up, bother guys, take them out of their comfort zone, and it’s been working.”

Sixers head coach Doc Rivers gave the inside scoop on Tucker’s influence on Maxey.

“Tuck was killing Tyrese after the game,” Rivers said. “He was like, ‘the cat’s out of the bag, brother.’ That’s what he kept saying: ‘you played amazing defense.’ The vets in your locker room are so important. He was in his face saying, ‘You played amazing defense. You can do that every single night.’ They were happy about that.”

Tobias Harris Sounds Off on Disrespect Aimed at P.J. Tucker

In an interview with Carlin on March 4, Harris explained why Tucker’s impact on the Sixers is undeniable despite his low-scoring numbers.

“When anybody talks about the points scored is an idiot just because there isn’t much opportunity for him to go out and average eight or nine points. The man shoots the ball two times a game, so that’s a (expletive) claim.,” Harris said.

Harris added the kind of impact Harris has around playoff time.

“He’s a guy who’s a winner, and every big game we’re in, those big teams and games that we play that felt like playoff environments, he’s out there making an impact. That’s where his game shines the most and also, just him being a vocal guy on this team, a leader, he’s the anchor to our defense, he can guard 1 through 5, he sacrifices offensively.”

Before joining the Sixers last summer, Tucker was a valued rotation player on the Houston Rockets, Milwaukee Bucks, and Miami Heat.

Doc Rivers Vocalizes P.J. Tucker’s Importance

While talking with Carlin, Rivers explained why Tucker is important to the Sixers in crucial games.

“He’s tough. The good teams are all tough. The good teams are serious, they’re physical, they play hard, they execute, and PJ is great in those games, so I do think there’s something to that,” Rivers said.

Rivers then explained why it’s best for teams to communicate on both ends of the floor and why Tucker is important on that front.

“Teams that talk, man, it’s just so important defensively,” Rivers added. “It just eliminates all mistakes. You don’t have switching mistakes, you don’t have transition D mistakes when guys are hitting 3s, and that’s where as a team, we have to grow.”

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