Philadelphia 76ers guard T.J. McConnell got a surprise start in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Boston Celtics. The Sixers entered the game on Monday in a 0-3 playoffs series ditch. Their unenviable position called for them to try an unusual scheme such as starting McConnell.
As it turned out, it was a perfect decision for the Sixers, who ended up winning the game, 103-92, and extending the series to a Game 5. McConnell finished the game with 19 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the field to go with seven rebounds and five assists in 38 minutes of action. To put McConnell’s performance into perspective, the former Arizona Wildcats guard was only averaging 3.4 points in these playoffs prior his Game 4 explosion against Boston.
Philly fans inside the Wells Fargo Arena were clearly appreciative of McConnell’s heroics, which was why when he subbed out of the game at one point, the arena reverberated with chants for the point guard. Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz even joined in on the fun by cheering for McConnell from the bench.
Markelle Fultz, the ultimate TJ McConnell cheerleader pic.twitter.com/UIhM4f7HS9
— Chris Grenham (@chrisgrenham) May 8, 2018
Unlike McConnell, Markelle Fultz has yet to see action in the series, but that’s not something he seems to be feeling bitter about, as evidenced by his gesture towards his teammate.
With the Sixers success in Game 4, McConnell likely would get another start in Game 5 in Boston this Wednesday. Philadelphia is 8-2 in its last 10 games on the road dating back to the regular season. Those two losses were the Sixers’ defeats at the hands of Boston in Games 1 and 2, however.