Matisse Thybulle Turning Heads After Hot Start to Second Half
Despite having to start the second half of the season without at least one of their All-Stars, the Sixers have managed to win all three of their games in a rather easy fashion.
One factor that has led to this hot start is the collectiveness this team has shown in the absence of their All-Stars. The second unit went through a major cold spell in the weeks leading up to the All-Star break, but they have looked rejuvenated and recharged after getting off their feet for a week.
Matisse Thybulle has been one of the role players who has helped energize this team to start this upcoming sprint to the postseason. Along with bringing his elite-level defense, Thybulle also looks to be putting it together on the other side of the floor.
Over his last four games, he is averaging just under eight points per game and shooting an incredible 81.3% from the floor. In that same span, he has also stepped out and made all five of his attempts from beyond the arc.
Before Friday's matchup against the Wizards, Doc Rivers would talk a little bit about Thybulle's growing play on the offensive side of the floor.
He's an important part to our team. Defensively he's been absolutely amazing, and when he can make shots and move without the ball and score on cuts and threes, it makes him that much more dangerous.
After that win against the Wizards, Danny Green would chime in on the work Thybulle has put in to improve his game on both ends of the floor.
We know what he can do on the defensive end of the floor, and that leads to his offense. He just stays aggressive and keeps doing that. He's doing his job and he's doing it at a high level. I'm loving what he brings to the floor for us.
Thybulle is already a difference-maker on the floor from what he brings defensively, but this growing confidence on the offensive end makes him even more of an x-factor. This team is going to need him on the floor for big minutes once the postseason rolls around. Him becoming more consistent on offense will make it that much easier.
Ben Simmons is someone who has always been outspoken about Thybulle's play on defense. Following Sunday's win against the Spurs, he would give his take on what has led to this improved play from Thybulle.
I think he's getting more comfortable. His spot-up threes have been great, he's been slashing more, driving more, and getting to the rim. Overall he's been great.
Along with complimenting his offensive game, Simmons would also make a bold statement about his defensive work. Saying that if Thybulle played the same number of minutes as him, he would 'easily' win the defensive player of the year award.
If Thybulle can continue to grow into a reliable 'three-and-D' player over these last 33 games, it could change the trajectory of this team. Giving some of Danny Green's minutes with the starters to Thybulle would make them a very tough lineup to score on when at full health.
A defensive trio of Simmons, Thybulle, and Joel Embiid is a nightmare for opposing teams, especially come playoffs.
The matchup it could change the most is a potential meeting with the Brooklyn Nets. Thybulle has shown he has no problem defending star players, and they are going to need him to help slow down the firepower on Brooklyn's roster.
Thybulle's growth in confidence has been a major positive to kick off the back end of the schedule. Seeing if he can continue to build on what he's done will be a key thing to watch in the coming weeks.