Multiple Sixers rave about Matisse Thybulle’s defense on Devin Booker

The final score is going to read the Phoenix Suns knocking off the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday 116-113, but there were some bright spots from a tough night at home.

One of them was the play of Matisse Thybulle who stepped up and he did a good job of defending Suns star Devin Booker. After a tough start where Booker seemed to use Thybulle’s aggressiveness against him, the second-year defensive stud went to work and he really held Booker in check.

Booker scored 19 points, but he shot just 6-for-14 to do it and he missed all three of his triple attempts. Thybulle also swatted a few of his shots with his elite athleticism.

“He was unbelievable,” Rivers said. “Overall, I thought he chased him to exhaustion. It’s a hard job, and I don’t know if anyone’s done a better job on Devin. Devin is tough and think about the last shot he made. Most of his shots were those types of shots. I think Devin probably got a couple passes when Matisse wasn’t on him, but overall I thought he was absolutely phenomenal tonight.”

The shot Rivers was referring to was a tough fallaway jumper Booker made late over the outstretched arm of Thybulle to really seal it for the Suns. It was a really tough shot that a guy of his talent just makes.

Thybulle has been terrific on the defensive end all season long and his play with Ben Simmons makes Philadelphia one of the elite defenses in the league.

“After the game, I just went and told him it was amazing,” said Joel Embiid. “We got two guys that have a great case for being the best perimeter defenders in the league and he’s one of them. He’s amazing, just guarding his man, blocking shots, and just locking them down. I thought he did a great job.”

Thybulle does not receive a lot of minutes, like Simmons or Embiid, so Defensive Player of the Year is probably out of the question, but an All-Defensive Team? Absolutely.

“All-Defense for sure for Matisse, in my opinion,” said Rivers. “It’s funny, that defensive vote sometimes, they look at players and they look at their offensive numbers in a crazy way, which I’ve always thought is insane. If you’re a great defensive player, you’re a great defensive player, and Matisse is that for sure. There’s not 10 better defenders in this league. I can tell you that. There may not be five.”

It does help that Thybulle is surrounded by some great defenders like Simmons and Embiid and they are pushing him to be even better.

“I’ve been pushing him all season, basically, because I know how good it is,” said Embiid. “I know how good he can be especially on that end. He should be on one of the All-Defensive Teams.”

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