The Philadelphia 76ers picked up a solid road win on Thursday to close out 2020 with a 116-92 win over the Orlando Magic. It was a game that featured an offensive clinic from Philadelphia including a triple from star Ben Simmons.
Another really nice development was the fact that Matisse Thybulle played well in his first real minutes of the season. The Sixers are a deeper team at the moment and Thybulle has not been able to put a dent into new coach Doc Rivers’ rotation.
However, with Furkan Korkmaz out, Thybulle is receiving an opportunity and he did not waste it. He had nine points and four rebounds while knocking down two from deep and his usual excellent defense was there as well.
“We’ve been telling him that from the beginning,” said Rivers. “Matisse is gonna be a key player for this basketball team. I thought his first half on both ends was phenomenal. Second half, I was a little upset because he had, I think two 3s that he passed up and tried to drive and I told him when you’re open, let it fly. He did that in the first half but defensively, in the second half, he was phenomenal on (Cole) Anthony. Anthony’s very aggressive and he was phenomenal tonight.”
Thybulle was fully in Brett Brown’s rotation as a rookie as he earned time thanks to his phenomenal defense. That is not the case right now under Rivers and he understands that as time moves on, he will have to earn his spot. This is now his chance to do so.
“I’d say it was fairly similar to what happened last year,” Thybulle stated. “I have to fight for a place in the rotation and it was hit or miss up and down so it’s nothing new. I didn’t come into the season with any expectations to be on the floor based on what I did last year. I knew I was gonna have to earn it and I think I’m in the process of doing that right now.”
As far as his offense goes, everybody understands that he is not yet up there on that end of the floor just yet. He has to continue to put in the work on that aspect of his game. The nine points were his first points of the season after going scoreless in the first four games of the season.
“Just getting a feel out there,” he added. “These are my first buckets of the season so just getting a feel, and the more minutes I get, the more comfortable we get with each other out there on the court. I think it’ll come. I think we’re all growing and trying to figure out whereare our shots, what are the better shots, and as you can see I’m going through it as we speak.”