T.J. McConnell 2019-20 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from T.J. McConnell's 2019-20 season.

T.J. McConnell 2020 Player Review

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T.J. McConnell 2019-20 Season Highlights

Check out some of the top plays from T.J. McConnell's 2019-20 season.
Sep 3, 2020  |  00:54

Player Review 2020: T.J. McConnell

Age: 28
Years Pro: 5
Status: Entering the final season of a two-year deal signed last summer.
Key Stats: Averaged 6.5 points and five assists while primarily coming off the bench for the Blue & Gold. Finished the season shooting 51.6 percent from the field, the second-highest season shooting percentage of his career. Started three games.

Just as he did with the Philadelphia 76ers, T.J. McConnell carved out a pivotal niche role on this Pacers team. Not only did he provide one of the best "mic'd up" segments of the shortened season, the six foot, one inch guard out of Arizona also provided a spark off the bench for the club.

The trusty NBA stalwart missed only two games this season. When starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon needed a rest, McConnell was the first one to spring up from the bench. Always hustling the full length of the court, his quick playing style juxtaposed the starting squad's slower-paced, half-court offense built around finding shots for Domantas Sabonis and Myles Turner in the paint. Oftentimes, it appeared as if other teams weren't ready for the switch.

PHOTO GALLERY: T.J. McConnell's 2019-20 Season in Photos »

McConnell was often seen dicing around opposing big men near the rim. This forced defenses to collapse inward, setting up a kick-out pass to the reliable Doug McDermott or Justin Holiday for a wide-open 3-point shot. He finished the season second on the team in total assists (355) and tied for second in assists per game (5.0). Only Brogdon finished higher in both categories.

But the pass-first minded guard also didn't mind creating shots for himself. A few times during the season, he became a scoring threat in the paint by utilizing his signature turnaround jumper over his taller opponents. The fast drive combined with the quick change of direction gave McConnell enough space to arc the ball over the outstretched hands of centers and power forwards. His 51.6 percent field goal percentage was the fourth-best on the Pacers this season.

T.J. McConnell

Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images

On defense, the crafty guard put himself in position to swipe lazy inbounds passes away from unsuspecting opponents. During the closing minutes of quarters, he out-hustled his opponents to create several last-second opportunities for the Blue & Gold.

McConnell's highest scoring output this season came in the ninth game of the regular season when he notched 17 points on 8-of-10 shooting in 21:34 of play against the Detroit Pistons. However, the most notable performances of the season include his two double-double performances.

After Brogdon left the court early due to an injury on Dec. 31, McConnell notched 11 points and a game-high 10 assists in 27:14 of game time in an 18-point victory over his former team. On Jan. 22, he finished with 10 points and a game-high 11 assists in a 112-87 victory over the Phoenix Suns. He also earned his season-high +27 rating during the bout.

The do-it-all reserve player proved to be a valuable asset to the squad when they needed a jolt of energy this season. Switching up the pace of play helped the Pacers' bench cling to tight leads when starters needed a break. Pacers fans have grown to respect him and expect the same effort from him every night.

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