Texas Basketball: PJ Tucker, Rockets squeak past OKC in first round

Texas basketball ex and forward/wing PJ Tucker helped push the Houston Rockets in a nailbiting seven-game playoff series past the OKC Thunder.

There are numerous former members of the Texas basketball program that are sitting in the midst of a playoff run to round out the 2019-20 NBA season at the moment. One of the more prominent that just got to the next round of the playoffs is the Texas Ex forward/shooting guard and Houston Rockets veteran PJ Tucker.

This stretch two-way Rockets forward that stands at 6-foot-5 and 245 pounds played for the Longhorns for three seasons back in the mid-2000’s. During his time on the Forty Acres, Tucker was a Second-Team All-American, 2005-06 Big 12 Player of the Year, and 2006 NCAA Tournament All-Region selection. He was one of the better two-way players to suit up for the Longhorns in the early-to-mid 2000’s.

However, Tucker is still finding a way to win with the Rockets more than a decade into his NBA career. Tucker and the Rockets just found their way through a very stingy five-seed in the first round of the playoffs, in the Oklahoma City Thunder. The four-seed Rockets were taken literally down to the final second in a seven-game series against the Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.

On Sep. 2, the Rockets barely squeaked past the Thunder in a seven-game series that saw them get the victory by a one-point margin. Superstar shooting guard James Harden managed to come up with a big defensive play on an otherwise poor offensive night for him that helped the Rockets escape Game 7 with that one-point victory.

In this first round playoffs series against the Thunder, the Rockets got some big contributions at times out of Tucker. He started in all seven games for the Rockets, while averaging 8.6 points per game, 7.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.4 steals, and 0.1 blocks. Tucker shot 40.7 percent from the field, a solid 37.2 percent from beyond the arc, good for a true shooting percentage of 55.6. Oddly enough, Tucker didn’t have a single free-throw attempt in this seven-game series.

Now that Tucker and the Rockets slipped by the Thunder in this thrilling series by the tips of their fingernails, they are on to face the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the second round. The matchup won’t get an easier as they have to take on superstar forward LeBron James, big man Anthony Davis, and the talented Lakers.

Game 1 of the Rockets-Lakers series in the second round of the NBA playoffs will tip off on Sep. 4 at 8:00 p.m. CT. The Lakers got past the eight-seed Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs in a five-game series, that saw them win the last four games in a row.