If you only were to watch one quarter of basketball [which happens to be all I have seen first hand], you might get the impression that this PJ Tucker kid has pulled a Jeremy Lin and is a surefire star on the rise. His energy aside [which reminds some of a Pony name Lou], Tucker showed in one quarter that he had NBA defensive ability, enough so that it may keep him in the league for a while. His intensity, grit and skill to stay with ball handlers and be a disruptive force is reminiscent of a young, stronger, shot-less Raja Bell.
While one quarter doth not make a game, season or career, said one quarter at the very least, sent a statement to the remainder of the roster. Alvin Gentry's willingness to eschew the pressure of contracts and expectations in favor of anyone that is going to provide value on the court is why I like Gentry. He isn't the greatest coach, but he is willing to bench Micheal Beasley in favor of a walk-on simply because that walk-on got it done. Whatever your predictions for Gentry are, that act of ballsiness alone warrants keeping Gentry on as coach.
The bigger story here though, is the message Tucker has sent to Beasley.
Michael, you had a nice game the other night, showed your ability to score, displayed your offensive versatility, and gave us all hope that you might fulfill some of your potential. However, in the fourth quarter last night, PJ Tucker showed you exactly why you are where you are in this league. If you could come out with half the intensity and half the defensive prowess displayed by Tucker, you would be an all-star in the league. Most certainly, you wouldn't be relegated to watching games in the fourth quarter.
Tucker's ability to defend, scramble for boards and slide to open areas for dunks showed that there is more value to a guy that can bring energy, defense and finishing skills during crunch time than for a guy that can occasionally summon a scoring binge.
Oh, to be a geneticist and to combine the DNA of PJ Tucker into Michael Beasley's corpse!