Multiple Sixers in awe of Matisse Thybulle on defense in win over Lakers

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The Philadelphia 76ers were able to pick up a 105-87 win over the Los Angeles Lakers at home on Thursday to improve to 2-0 on this 5-game homestand. While Joel Embiid, Tobias Harris, and Tyrese Maxey had big games, they also got another big game out of their defensive stud.

Matisse Thybulle drew the assignment against Russell Westbrook and he made life tough for the future Hall of Famer. While Westbrook had 20 on 9-for-15 shooting, he did also commit six turnovers to just three assists and he was not comfortable out there at all.

On the night, Thybulle had four steals as he was constantly getting into the passing lane and he was able to make some jaw-dropping plays. He had one steal at halfcourt where he jumped and caught an outlet pass which led to a Maxey layup.

“Man, did you see that play when he caught that?” said Georges Niang. “He’s unreal on the defensive end. The best part about it is it’s consistent night in and night out. You can just be like ‘Hey, go guard him’ and he seems to give that other team’s guy a problem.”

“He just goes out there and embraces his role to the fullest,” said Harris. “Some plays that he does, I think we now gotten used it, but he’s really making some spectacular plays. The two-hand pass that he stole at halfcourt, it takes a lot to do that. A lot of people don’t understand like his reflexes and all that on the defensive end.”

It may have taken the Lakers by surprise to see what Thybulle can do out on the floor. There are not a lot of players who can do what he does on a nightly basis and he was able to take another step in the right direction on Thursday.

“I think where he surprises most guys, I think they respect who he is and all that, I think what the surprise is, and you see it every night when he blocks shots where even in practice, our guys play with him all the time, and they think they’re gonna get a shot off, and they’re rushing it and he still gets it,” said coach Doc Rivers. “They’re always shocked by it and I am too, sometimes. He gets a couple that you don’t think he can cover the ground that he does.”

Embiid has been leading the candidacy for Thybulle to win Defensive Player of the Year so the fact that he did what he did on Thursday didn’t necessarily surprise him.

“That’s what he’s been doing all season,” said Embiid. “He was great. He had, what, four steals? Locking down whoever he was guarding so we’re gonna need that every night.”

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

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