Brett Brown Doesn't Know If Markelle Fultz or T.J. McConnell Will Be Backup PGNovember 20, 2018
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown is unsure of whether Markelle Fultz or T.J. McConnell will be his primary backup point guard moving forward following Monday's 119-114 win over the Phoenix Suns.
According to ESPN.com's Tim Bontemps, Brown said "I don't know" when asked about his plans for the spot behind starter Ben Simmons.
Brown also discussed what factors he'll take into account: "Just when I think it through deeper and look at tape and see who we're playing, the next opponent, all those things I should do."
After not playing in the previous three games, McConnell recorded nine minutes against the Suns, while Fultz played just seven minutes.
McConnell recorded two points, two steals, one assist and one rebound while posting a plus-6 rating.
Fultz finished with no points, one assist, one rebound and a plus-2 rating.
Bontemps noted the crowd at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia "showered [McConnell] with love" whenever he made a positive play.
Fultz had been starting for the Sixers prior to their acquisition of Jimmy Butler from the Minnesota Timberwolves last week.
With a greater need for shooting in the starting lineup, Brown decided to make veteran guard JJ Redick a starter in Fultz's place.
Although Fultz said he would have loved more opportunities to play Monday, he also showed support for McConnell after the game:
"Our relationship is more than teammates. We both want to see each other do well, and we want to see the team win, so anytime one of us step on the court, we are probably rooting for each other more than most people. That's how it is.
"You definitely want to go out there and compete ... I'm a competitor. But, at the end of the day, coach made a decision to do that, so I have to live with it. My mindset is just, when I step on the court, go out there and play. But while T.J. is out there, I'm rooting for him.
"It's not like I'm sitting on the bench pouting or anything. I want to be out there, but I'm going to root for my teammates."
Philadelphia selected Fultz with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, but he went on to miss all but 14 regular-season games during his rookie campaign with a shoulder injury.
So far this season, Fultz is averaging 8.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest. He is also shooting 41.9 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three-point range.
McConnell, who was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2015, is averaging 4.2 points, 2.5 assists and 1.7 rebounds while shooting 53.3 percent from the field.
The Sixers are 3-1 since acquiring Butler, and they will look to sort out their rotation ahead of Wednesday's meeting with the Pels.