Sixers underdog T.J. McConnell is the hero we didn’t know we needed


The Philadelphia 76ers are 7-3 in their last 10 games and are the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference. The team’s success this month could be credited to Ben Simmons’ new found aggressiveness and Joel Embiid’s stellar performances. However, let’s not overlook T.J. McConnell, who has been a workhorse during his entire tenure with the team.

Over the past 10 games, T.J. McConnell has averaged 9.5 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2 steals. Those are some really good numbers for a backup point guard who plays 25 minutes per game. He ranks 33rd in assists which is very impressive considering the fact that he plays the 3rd fewest minutes out of anyone in the top 33. 

Aside from the numbers, T.J has a big effect on the team just by being on the court. He hustles after loose balls, scraps on defense and holds his own against bigger players. His energy provides a good boost off the bench for a team that struggles to get consistent production from their second unit.

He has also improved his 3 point percentage. He is a career 32 percent 3 point shooter but this season he is shooting over 43 percent from deep! Like I said, the man is a workhorse. “He’s a winner. Our guys love playing with him. He plays with the spirit that we want our team to be recognized for…..” . This is what Brett Brown had to say about T.J after a win against the Mavericks earlier this season.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that T.J. McConnell is a great teammate and a good NBA player. Heck, LeBron James and the Cavaliers wanted to trade for him. T.J. has transformed himself from an underdog to a bonafide NBA player, and he has found the perfect home with the Sixers. He embraces the true spirit of Philadelphia: heart, hustle and grit.


Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports