Ben Simmons gives praise to Matisse Thybulle as a gifted defender

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Ky Carlin
·3 min read
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The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the better defensive teams in the league led by Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid in the starting lineup and it is then followed up by Matisse Thybulle off their bench to keep things going for them.

The Sixers needed Thybulle in a big way in Sunday’s win over the San Antonio Spurs as he came up with a huge block late. With the game tied at 107, he was able to come up with one of his patented blocks from behind on Spurs guard Patty Mills who was attempting a go-ahead shot.

The Sixers were then able to win in overtime as Simmons tipped in a miss at the buzzer.

“You have to have the IQ to be able to do it, and then the gift like length and speed, and he’s got that,” said Simmons. “I think sometimes, he might let guys go by him just so he can get the block, and some guys just can’t do that. There’s certain plays where you might let a guy get a step in front and hit the ball from behind. There are certain things that he does that a lot of guys can’t do, and will never be able to do just because of the IQ and he’s gifted.”

Thybulle is such an elite defender that he has been able to teach Simmons a thing or two.

“I learned from him too,” said Simmons. “I don’t think I’d be the defender I am today if he wasn’t on the team. I feel like we feed off each other in terms of getting stops and wanting to play that role, and being those guys who can come in and stop guys and make it hard on certain players, which is a huge part of the team. If you don’t have guys who could do that, guys are gonna be scoring a will.”

The second-year guard out of Washington is going to play a huge role on this team in the playoffs. His ability to lock up some of the top scorers one-on-one has been a huge help for them. He has been able to lock up the likes of De’Aaron Fox in the past as well as bother the hell out of Kyrie Irving. His defensive development continues to be one of the more intriguing things on this team to watch.

“I think, over time, he’s just learned that he’s one of the best defenders in the league on ball,” Simmons finished. “You got to say, he’s learned a lot in the last year or so.”

This post originally appeared on Sixers Wire! Follow us on Facebook!

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