Matisse Thybulle remains the most intriguing bench player for the Sixers
Matisse Thybulle started the season on the outside looking in in terms of the Sixers’ bench rotation. Thybulle, entering his second year, has struggled offensively during his short NBA career but has made up for it with his strong defensive skillset.
Looking at the Sixers bench, Shake Milton leads the way in scoring, averaging 14 points per game. Dwight Howard has proved to be a valuable backup for Joel Embiid, and Tyrese Maxey has shown his potential offensively and defensively. Furkan Korkmaz has stepped up over the last week and has definitely shown some progression in his game this year.
The most intriguing bench player for the Sixers is still Matisse Thybulle. On defense, Thybulle continues to progress into an elite NBA defender. This season, he’s blocking 2.6% of opposing players shots and getting a steal on 3.6% of opposing players possessions.
Field Goal Percentages of players guarded by Matisse Thybulle this season:
- LaMelo Ball 14.3 %
- Kemba Walker 22.2%
- Marcus Smart 25.0%
- Gary Trent Jr. 25.0%
- Bradley Beal 33.3%
- Malcom Brogdon 42.9%
- De’Aaron Fox 44.4%
For a wing in the NBA, these are elite numbers and there’s no doubt about it that the Sixers have relied on Thybulle late in games when they desperately need a spark on defense.
Thybulle is one of the most disruptive defenders in the NBA this season and causes absolute chaos on the defensive side of the court. The Sixers have trusted him to guard the best player on opposing teams every game this season.
Even though Thybulle has been an incredible defender, on the offensive side of the ball, there has been little improvement, if not regression, from his rookie year. Thybulle is scoring less and hasn’t been able to really find his shot along the perimeter. He hasn’t looked comfortable on the offensive side of the ball and the lack of aggression when attacking the basket is evident.
Luckily for Matisse, his defense is so valuable to the Sixers, so it’s easy for the team to overlook his lack of offense. It does leave Sixers fans wondering if this is the ceiling for Thybulle. The Sixers coaching staff, much like myself, don’t believe that to be the case. Thybulle is only in his second year and the ceiling for him is extremely high given his defensive skillset.
If Thybulle can find himself offensively, there’s no reason why he couldn’t find himself in the starting lineup or at the very least, see his minutes skyrocket off the bench for the Sixers. For now, having Thybulle enter the game with fresh legs and ready to take on the opposing teams best player defensively is working just fine.
The Sixers are in Phoenix to take on the Suns today at 3 PM.
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Mandatory Credit: ESPN.com