Doc Rivers, Sixers blown away by Matisse Thybulle’s defense vs. Timberwolves

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Ky Carlin
·3 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle had a slow start to the 2020-21 season. He was hindered by an injury in training camp, he was not in coach Doc Rivers’ rotation to begin the season and now, it appears that he has found his role and his niche now.

After having a strong performance against LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Thybulle followed that up by playing strong defense again against Minnesota Timberwolves guards Ricky Rubio and D’Angelo Russell. He had three steals and two blocks and his effort and energy helped keep Philadelphia in it when the offense started slowly to help them win it 118-94.

“He had 12 deflections by himself in one quarter,” said Rivers. “Joel (Embiid) was amazing, if I was giving a game ball out, it probably would be Matisse or split it with those two. I thought he was a difference-maker. I thought he frustrated Rubio and then I thought he was phenomenal against D’Angelo Russell. He’s just a hell of a defender, he’s got his legs under him now, he knows what we expect of him, and he’s been terrific.”

Thybulle built himself a defensive reputation as a rookie and as he continues with his second season, he is continuing to show that off. His ability to really fly all over the floor and make plays defensively is what’s going to earn him more accolades for his future.

Russell shot 3-for-11 and Rubio was just 2-for-6 and Thybulle was a big part of that.

“We know what Matisse brings to the table defensively,” said Tobias Harris. “Tonight, you just saw an exhibition of how effective he is on the ball. He gets his hands on a lot of loose basketballs on the floor, his hustle, his length out there, you can put them on anybody pretty much one through five. He’s able to hold his own.”

Ben Simmons, who is an elite defender in his own right, is seeing a more mature Thybulle as the season wears on. He is stepping up when the time calls for it and he is more judicious when it comes to his thievery and jumping the passing lanes.

“He’s maturing a lot overall defensively,” Simmons explained. “He’s gotten a lot better. He picks and chooses when he’s gonna take riskier plays with steals and things like that. Tonight, you saw he was all in Rubio, getting a lot of deflections and making it tough all on the floor so he’s gonna be a huge part of this team.”

Of course, Thybulle will eventually have to start knocking shots down, but his defense has been a real difference for the Sixers whenever he is on the floor. His play in the first half against two really solid offensive players in Rubio and Russell was a huge in factor in Philadelphia taking a halftime lead despite their offensive struggles.

“That gave us a huge spark, especially with the second unit,” said Harris. “As his time continues to come in and he continues to get confident, he’s gonna start knocking down those shots, and taking advantage of different ways he can score offensively. That’s going to be key for us.”

The Sixers will now head over to the Hoosier State to take on the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.

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

Related

Multiple Sixers react to Joel Embiid's big game against Timberwolves

Sixers big man Joel Embiid will play vs. Timberwolves despite back issue

Matisse Thybulle opens up on being out of Sixers rotation, team chemistry

OddsMoney LinePoint SpreadTotal Points
Dallas
+180+6.5O 226.5
Philadelphia
-223-6.5U 226.5