PHILADELPHIA–To begin the season, Philadelphia 76ers defender Matisse Thybulle was barely playing. He played a grand total of five minutes combined in the first four games of the season and it appeared that maybe he had lost his spot in the rotation.
However, he has recently taken advantage of his increase in minutes lately and it culminated in Thybulle coming up with five steals in Sunday’s 105-98 win over the Utah Jazz. The 2-time All-Defensive Team player helped the team come up with some big stops late and he continues to work toward being that shutdown defender.
It helps that his minutes are beginning to increase as well. He needs the time out on the court to be able to contribute in a consistent manner.
“The most important part for me is, I’m starting to feel like myself again,” he said. “Some of that has to do with just feeling more confident in my role. At the beginning, I wasn’t playing, and then when I came back, I’m like ‘I don’t wanna do anything wrong to not play again’ and now it feels like they’re more consistent.”
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The Sixers will need Thybulle to eventually add more on the offensive end, but at the moment, he brings so much to this team on the defensive end. It’s helpful that he is beginning to get back to the player everybody knows he can be.
“I feel like I have a spot and solidified value on this team and realistically, it’s just getting back to feeling like myself,” he added. “Some of the coaches have a lot to do with that, actually.”
Thybulle has been known to be a defender who he is running around and wreaking havoc in the passing lanes and things of that nature. The coaches have been working with him and showing him videos of how he can be even better.
“Brian Adams has pulled me aside and started making me more tailor-made edits on who I’m gonna be guarding and how I should guard them and what to look for and how they’re trying to score,” he explained. “I think that’s just giving me the confidence to go out there and play at my own pace.”
The offense will have to come at some point for Thybulle, but it’s obvious every night that he is working his way back to being that elite defender for Philadelphia and somebody they can count on every night. He is so important to the success they want to have.