The Philadelphia 76ers made the big move at the deadline to acquire a lengthy 3-and-D player to bolster their bench unit. They acquired Jalen McDaniels from the Charlotte Hornets in a four-team deal that sent Matisse Thybulle to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The questions about McDaniels headed to Philadelphia have focused on the lack of playoff experience at this level. McDaniels had spent the first 3.5 seasons of his career with the Hornets and while he was in the play-in tournament in 2021 and 2022 with Charlotte, it doesn’t compare to the playoffs themselves.
After a surprising 136-131 OT win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday, McDaniels spoke on getting set to make his playoff debut against the Brooklyn Nets in Round 1.
“This is my first playoff experience,” McDaniels told reporters. “So I’m just gonna do me. Just go out there and play hard. Play the right way and try to move on.”
McDaniels also looks like he is beginning to get more comfortable in his role. Over his last seven games, he is shooting 56.3% from deep as he is finding his niche out on the floor. That shooting will be crucial against the Nets in the playoffs.
“Just getting comfortable with time,” he finished. “Now, I feel like myself just out there doing what I do. As to where I first got here, I was a little timid, I didn’t know where to go, stuff like that, but now I’m good. I know my role, I know what to do, so it’s solid.”
McDaniels and the Sixers will face the Nets in the season finale on the road on Easter Sunday.