clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Phoenix Suns Tucker not threatened by T.J. Warren's progress

T.J. Warren scored 17 points in the preseason opener against Sacramento, while P.J. Tucker didn't rack up a single point. Will Warren overtake Tucker in the starting lineup?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Peterson of had a good conversation with P.J. Tucker, 29 years old, about the development of his backup T.J. Warren, 22.

Both have quite opposite games. Tucker is burly, more skilled to rebound and play defense than create crafty scoring moves in the paint like Warren. One is the yin to the other's yang.

"For me, it's not a competition," Tucker said to Peterson. "We're two totally different players. He's my young boy. For me, I just like to see him getting better and keep working towards being a really good player in this league."

The question is which player will be the better pro, the better winning teammate in 2015-16.

Warren needs to be more consistent on defense, so he doesn't give up more points than he scores. On the other hand, Tucker needs to be consistent on offense, making enough three-pointers from the corner to offset any points he gives up on the defensive end. Tucker won't outscore his opponent, but his offensive spacing - when a threat to score from the corner - creates space for others.

"The first day of training camp, we talked to the guys," coach Jeff Hornacek said. "There might be guys that have earned the right to start but for the best of the team we might have you come off the bench."

Who was he talking about? The most obvious could be P.J. Tucker.

"We have to see how our mix of guys plays together," Hornacek continued. "And I think our guys are all willing to do it. The approach this year is, how are we going to win the game? If you have to come off the bench, if you have to play 48 minutes it doesn't matter. We will look at the combinations, what works best for us."

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Bright Side of the Sun Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Phoenix Suns news from Bright Side of the Sun