Since the Robert Covington trade, besides Harden, Tucker has shared the floor with Covington the most—nearly 20 more minutes than with Westbrook, and 40 minutes than the next forward, Danuel House. Why? Because between the both of them, Houston’s defense is a killer. In 152 minutes together, Tucker-Covington is posting a defensive rating of 101.3. That’s stiff. That’s not even considering there’s not a lot of dropoff on the other side of the ball, with an offensive rating of 119.2. It’s like the two were made for each other. Toughness, switches, and defensive IQ galore. “It allows us to let them be disruptive on a lot of different phases of the court because, like you said, when we’re guarding the ball, we can put anybody on it,” Covington said following Houston’s 116-105 win over Boston.
“You’ve got Tuck (P.J. Tucker) and (Danuel) House (Jr.) and the other guys who can step in and be very versatile. Overall, just putting different people in and different matchups and you play a lot of different defenders in front of the ball and it’s not just one set guy.”