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21 September 2020 04:39

The 31-year-old Harden and 35-year-old Tucker just finished their third season together in Houston.

nba most valuable player award

The full context wasn't immediately clear, but veteran Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker took to Instagram over the weekend to show his support for longtime teammate and friend James Harden. Tucker's message on Saturday evening came just hours after the release of NBA Awards ballots from 100 media members. As part of that voting, Harden finished third in the MVP race for the 2019-20 season. In comments via several Instagram stories, Tucker wrote: All respect due to everybody… Let's keep it real! Shaq Tim Duncan used to get doubled in the post… okay.

P.J. Tucker comes to defense of Rockets superstar James Harden

But when you get doubled before you pass half… never mind. Tucker finished his message with several emojis representing a shoulder shrug while laughing. "Back to I go," he concluded. Harden, of course, was routinely met with traps and double-teams throughout the 2019-20 regular season and playoffs — including during Houston's disappointing loss in a second-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers. Many of those doubles throughout the year came all the way out to halfcourt and beyond, as Tucker alluded to in his post. Despite those rare defenses, Harden still led the NBA in scoring (34.3 points per game) for a third straight season. Even so, 16 of 100 media members didn't even place "The Beard" in their top five of MVP voting. The 31-year-old Harden and 35-year-old Tucker just finished their third season together in Houston. Each player is already under contract with the Rockets for the 2020-21 league year.

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