CAMDEN, NJ–The Philadelphia 76ers made a move at the deadline back in February when they sent Matisse Thybulle to the Portland Trail Blazers in a four-team deal that brought in Jalen McDaniels from the Charlotte Hornets. There were some questions about the Sixers making that deal, but McDaniels has proven to be a nice addition.
In 11 games with the Sixers so far, McDaniels is averaging 6.3 points and 3.8 rebounds while shooting 49% from the floor. He isn’t scoring as much as he did with the Hornets, but he isn’t getting the same opportunities considering he’s playing with Joel Embiid and James Harden now.
In Monday’s win over the Indiana Pacers, McDaniels had to step in and start with the team short-handed and he poured in 20 points and eight rebounds while being able to provide a little bit of everything.
“He’s really good with the ball in the open floor,” said coach Doc Rivers of McDaniels. “Indiana was pressing us and we used Jalen to be the flash guy. Really, we thought he was gonna be the flash guy to pass. He flashes and he goes. He’s a really good straight-line driver. He has a great feeling in the paint.”
That is what McDaniels brings to the table. He may not be quite the defender that Thybulle is, but he is still very good on defense and he brings more to the table on the offensive end with his ball-handling and his ability to put the ball on the floor and drive to the basket .
He is only shooting 30% from deep while Thybulle is at 40.9% with the Blazers, but Rivers is confident that those shots will soon drop for McDaniels.
“We knew he was a great cutter and he’s a way better shooter than we thought,” Rivers added. “He can shoot the ball and it’s not great results yet, but you’ll see them. You can just tell by the way he shoots the ball.”
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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire