The Next Step: Matisse Thybulle
The beloved Matisse Thybulle participated in his first dose of international play this summer, and it made Sixers fans wonder what comes next for the 24 year old wing. In Australia’s journey to the bronze medal, Thybulle unsurprisingly led the Olympics in total steals (18) and steals per game (3.0). His defensive ability was on display for the entire world to see, but what impressed me the most about his international play was what he showed offensively.
Matisse is notoriously cautious on the offensive end of the floor, but his play during the Olympics proved that he is able to be an agitator on both sides of the ball. Over the course of his 5 games, Thybulle put up 7.8 ppg on 62.3% shooting from the field, and 41.7% from deep. Obviously his role was expanded on an Australian team that needed his production, but being put in that position on a team that placed 3rd in the world, Thybulle confidently stepped up.
An underrated part of Thybulle’s game is his innate ability to find cutting lanes and his creativity as a passer. Given more opportunities and playing alongside playmakers like Simmons and Maxey, these aspects should be showcased more heavily next year. His aggressiveness translated into production and that development should widen some eyes in the Sixers organization. It seems as though the Sixers are dead set on running it back after bringing back Danny Green, but Matisse is an all world defender that forced his way into the lineup and ended up on an All-Defensive team after only playing 20 minutes per game. His biggest restriction was that he was a tentative player on offense, so his growth could push himself into a much larger role next season.
The young core that has emerged for the Sixers is incredibly exciting, headlined by Thybulle and Maxey, and the way that they push each other and grow as a unit will allow this season’s team to rely on them as much, or more than last season. There should be tangible excitement over what Thybulle showed this summer, as he continues to sure up his jumper and capitalizing on his athletic ability there could be an important wrinkle to the Sixers progression this season.
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