Two different games, two completely different stat lines but the same high level effort is what gets T.J. McConnell the nod for this week. To some a -11 performance is difficult to defend, unless you watched the actually game. The guard’s hustle and sheer desire to get EVERY big involved and to keep the ball moving was on display this week.
Against the Minnesota Timberwolves McConnell was active from the outset with four assists in the opening quarter (Nerlens Noel received two of those assists). He would finish the night stuffing the stat sheet with six points, seven rebounds, eight assists, and two steals. A solid performance in the 93 – 91 lead.
One of the more impressive things about the Pennsylvania native is his ability to get players the ball while they are on the move.
The point guard notched 25 total assists in the two contests in the previous week, 20 of those came from players going towards the basket or on the move. On Friday night in Boston against a guard heavy Celtics’ team, T.J. played one of the best point games of the seasons.
Starting in place of the injured Sergio Rodriguez, McConnell registered 17 assists (just four shy of the franchise record held by Maurice Cheeks and Wilt Chamberlain). The 17 assists were a season and career high for the “Floor General”.
STAT OF THE WEEK:
Keep Firing or Maybe Not…………..
76ers’ forward Robert Covington hit a game winning shot against the Minnesota Timberwolves, thus ending a 4 for 14 night. Including a sizzling 1 for 9 from behind the arc. For the week the forward would go 6 for 20. This has become an all too common theme when discussing the former Rio Grande Valley Viper.
But it is his defense that proves his worth…………..allegedly.
No player serves more as the poster child for the recent struggles of the organization than Covington. A player who is applauded for his effort not accomplishment. Prior to this year Philadelphia seem focused on finding value versus finding a player. There is no other way to explain how the forward can shoot 38 percent for his NBA career (35 percent for the season) and manage to reside in a starting line-up.
Since his arrival, Philly is 41 – 134. Before his defenders leap to excuse such paltry numbers, consider “Cove” has registered 25 or more minutes in 123 of those 175 games.
And more times than not his stat line reads 4 for 14 or 2 for 6. Yes, Timberwolves guard/forward Andrew Wiggins finished the night 2 for 15, but Zach Lavine finished 11 for 20 en route to 28 points. In fact, it was Lavine who scored 12 points in the third quarter and finished 2 for 3 in the fourth. This begs the question if Robert is such an effective defender why do some many guards/forwards light the 76ers up?
THIS WEEK IN 1982 – 83 (THE CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR):
The Streak Continues
The week began with a showdown against the World Champion Los Angeles Lakers. After defeating LA 114 - 104 at the Great Western Forum, the 76ers were ready and expecting a motivated group.
Los Angeles came into Philly riding a seven game winning streak, but were without center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The 76ers exploded for a 36 point second quarter and took 67 – 58 lead into halftime. The Lakers would eventually respond, led by Magic Johnson’s 23 points, 20 assists and 12 boards and Jamaal Wilkes’ game high 36 points.
The game would end up in overtime, where one of the most unheralded Sixers of all time would secure the win.
Andrew Toney continued his assault on the league by scoring a team high 28 points (six in o.t.) and fouling out Los Angeles guard Norm Nixon. Philly would win 122 – 120 and sweep the Lakers, but that would not be they only sweep of the Purple and Gold for Philadelphia.
Philly finished up the week avenging an earlier loss to the Bullets with a 106 – 89 road win, behind another 28 points from Toney. Then returned home to beat down a 20 - 12 Kansas City Kings squad 125 - 113.
The undefeated week would bring the Broad Street Ballers win streak to seven.
TWEET OF THE WEEK: