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WPIAL Product T.J. McConnell Leads Indiana Pacers to Eastern Conference Finals



Former Chartiers Valley guard T.J. McConnell continues to shine in this year’s NBA Playoffs.

In Sunday’s Game 7 win over the New York Knicks, McConnell led the Indiana Pacers with 12 points and seven assists, going 6 for 8 from the field with just two turnovers. According to Twitter user Extra Muse, McConnell became “the first bench player in NBA history to record 40 or more assists and 10 or fewer turnovers in a single playoff series.”

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Out of high school, McConnell spent two seasons at Duquesne, averaging 11.1 points, 4.9 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game over two seasons before transferring to Arizona after two seasons.

After sitting out the 2012-13 series, he averaged 9.4 points, 5.8 assists and 3.7 assists, on 48/34/74 shooting splits, across the next two seasons at Arizona. McConnell went undrafted in the 2015 NBA Draft.

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McConnell finished seventh in NBA Sixth Man of the Year voting this year (his ninth NBA season), as a key piece for the Pacers of the bench. He averaged a career-high 10.2 points, 5.5 assists and 2.2 rebounds on 56/41/79 shooting splits. In nine seasons, McConnell has averaged 7.5 points, 5.1 assists and 3.0 rebounds per game, on 52/35/78 shooting, and it’s pretty evident that his game is translating to the NBA well as he ages. He was solid over four seasons in Philadelphia but has broken out over the last five seasons in Indianapolis.

Indiana now advances to the Eastern Conference Finals to take on the Boston Celtics. Game one of that series will take place on Tuesday, May 21 at 8 p.m.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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21 days ago

The NBA is very Darwinian, if you can’t defend you will be the target. The Celtics isolated McConnell and ran play after play at him. It worked, Boston moved on.

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