Feb 7, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard K.J. McDaniels (14) looks to shoot during the fourth quarter of the game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers beat the Hornets 89-81. Mandatory Credit: John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports
Playing With Pride
Coming out of Clemson, McDaniels was highly regarded by many NBA scouts as the second most athletic player in his draft class behind human freak, Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins. K.J’s athletic gifts are almost unfair. He combines his 6’6 frame with a 6’11 wingspan and a 37 inch vertical to cause havoc all over the court especially around the rim.
Similar to Cleveland’s Lebron James of the past, opposing players are never given a for sure layup at the rim as McDaniels has created a buzz around this league for his outstanding ability to anticipate a block.
These types of plays are too often overlooked nowadays. On the surface, the opposing team is denied 2 points, it’s more than that. For a player to have the will to sprint nearly 94 feet to make a defensive play on what is nearly a given two points for the offense shows unique traits in a player that builds championship teams. Having the grit, will and determination to have pride in your defensive play makes players like K.J McDaniels a rare commodity in today’s NBA.
Houston who was atrociously bad at getting back in transition defense last season can only benefit from players with K.J’s attributes. Aside from reserving a spot on Sports Center’s top 10 on a nightly basis, McDaniel’s athleticism offers a plethora of positive intangibles to a team who has one step in the contender’s room.
Next: Gimme a D