Sixers rave about Matisse Thybulle’s defense in Game 1 win over Wizards

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The Philadelphia 76ers are going to have their hands full in their first-round series with the Washington Wizards. While the Wizards are the No. 8 seed and the Sixers are the prohibitive favorites, Washington offers challenges for them defensively.

The Wizards boast one of the fastest offenses in the league led by Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.

Luckily, when the Sixers need a spark, they have a guy on their bench who can provide some elite defense.

Matisse Thybulle drew the assignment against Beal at the end of the third quarter, and he did a solid job. Thybulle got into Beals’ body. He blocked his shot, and he made Beal’s life miserable to help the Sixers earn a Game 1 win.

“He was great,” said Joel Embiid. “I thought he did probably the best job out of everybody on the team, and it was huge. I’ve been preaching for the whole season whether it’s being on the All-Defensive Team or saying that he has a chance to be Defensive Player the Year if he got the minutes needed to accomplish that. So he’s been huge all season, and we’re gonna need him to do the same.”

Teammate Ben Simmons, who is a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year, was happy with what he saw from Thybulle. He really got into Beal and made life tough on him.

“He did a great job on him,” said Simmons. “Just bugging him and annoying him up there, putting some pressure on him, and making him make decisions early which is great.”

The stat sheet will say Beal had 33 points on 13-for-23 shooting, but he was 1-for-6 from deep and he made shots because he is that talented. There is a reason he almost led the league in scoring in the 2020-21 season.

“Matisse did a great job of getting into his body, and obviously, he gets screened or pin downs, gets to the basket, and our other guys got to do a better job of helping, bigs as well, of trying to keep him off the rim, but he’s a great scorer,” said Danny Green. “He does what he does well, Matisse did all he could, altered shots made it tough for him.”

Thybulle also had two steals in the win as he was a big reason Philadelphia had more success offensively in the second half. His activity on that end was sensational, and the Sixers are going to need more of it as they move on to Game 2 on Wednesday.

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

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