76ers' bench ‘needs to be better,’ guard T.J. McConnell says

The 76ers’ second unit needs to improve, according to backup guard T.J. McConnell.

Philadelphia improved to 25-14 this season with a win over the Suns in Phoenix on Wednesday. But, it received just 20 points off its bench in the victory. Meanwhile, the Suns’ second unit tallied 53 points.

“Our bench just needs to be better,” McConnell said Thursday, via the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s flat-out unacceptable for real.”

The 26-year-old recorded seven points, six assists and four rebounds in 28 minutes on the floor against Phoenix. McConnell, however, committed a pair of unforced turnovers and finished minus-7 for the game.

“It starts with me,” McConnell said. “I just have to be better.

“I get a shot-clock violation as a point guard in the NBA. You’ve just got to know how much time is on the clock. It’s just stupid stuff like that.”

The 76ers acquired star Jimmy Butler from the Timberwolves in mid-November. But, they sent Robert Covington, Dario Saric and Jerryd Bayless – as well as a future second-round pick – to Minnesota in the deal, which hurt their depth.

Philadelphia has also been playing without second-year guard Markelle Fultz, who has been sidelined since Nov. 19 and was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome in early December.

Philadelphia general manager Elton Brand said late last month the team is looking to fill its open roster spot with a frontcourt player.

The 76ers will host the Mavericks on Saturday.