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76ers' TJ McConnell Tells Embarrassing NBA Debut Story of How Celtics' Brad Stevens Owned Him

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 23: James Ennis III #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers helps T.J. McConnell #12 off the floor against the Brooklyn Nets in Game Five of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at the Wells Fargo Center on April 23, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers - Game Five | Mitchell Leff

Have you ever heard the phrase: If it ain't broke, don't fix it?

Brad Stevens has. The outspoken Celtics head coach sees no problem with exploiting opposing teams' weaknesses over and over again until they make an adjustment to rectify it. This is apparent in a story told by Philadelphia 76er TJ McConnell, who recounts his NBA debut where Stevens repeatedly exploited his defense and first-game anxieties.

Stepping onto the floor for the first time as an NBA rookie can be nerve-wracking, especially when you are tasked with covering an All-Star in Isaiah Thomas. He quickly learned the NBA is nothing compared to what he had experienced before. In a basketball world where McConnell was used to being the predator, he was now the prey.

Isaiah dropped 27 points and seven assists in that game, while McConnell's performance was much less impressive. In 27 minutes of action, he recorded four points, four assists and three steals in the 112–95 Sixers loss.

Now, he will have to use that painful memory as motivation to continue getting better day in and day out.