Sixers news: Brett Brown discusses TJ McConnell being 'an amazing teammate'
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Sixers’ Brett Brown discusses TJ McConnell being ‘an amazing teammate’

TJ McConnell, Brett Brown

The Philadelphia 76ers might just have the most talented starting lineup in the Eastern Conference, but that does not mean that the Sixers’ bench unit has not made some significant contributions during the 2018-19 season.

In fact, the second team has been a big reason for the Sixers taking a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference semifinal against the Toronto Raptors, outscoring the Raptors in every game of the series.

And despite his diminished role during these playoffs, backup point guard T.J. McConnell has continued to be an instrumental glue guy for the Sixers.

McConnell burst onto the scene when “The Process” began in earnest, even starting in 51 of his 81 games played during the 2016-17 season. And while McConnell has returned to the bench for Philly’s last two playoff teams, he is already showing tremendous leadership at just 26 years old.

In a piece by Candace Bucker of The Washington Post, Sixers head coach Brett Brown discussed just how impactful McConnell has been even when he is firmly planted on the bench:

“If anybody really pays attention to our bench … it would greatly explain why he has been here,” Brown said. “He’s just an amazing teammate. He’s got a work ethic; he’s got a spirit. I think T.J. McConnell is going to be in the NBA for 15 years. Every time he gets this opportunity and confirms why he is in the NBA.”

Aside from being a very capable ball handler and distributor at the point guard position, McConnell’s undying support of his teammates and his energy are somewhat reminiscent of Brian Scalabrine, who played 11 seasons in the NBA and was a notable bench mob member for the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics.