It was an extremely impressive performance for the second-year Sixer, who quickly established a reputation as one of the best defensemen in the league. And for good reason. Thybulle has all the tools at this end of the ground. Watch how quickly he shifts from out of the frame to the elbow extended on the opposite wing to block Davis Bertans’ shot attempt at the start of the second quarter on Wednesday night:
It’s a great awareness and great speed of closing Thybulle right there. And that was only his first block. He followed that one with four others, including two more on the jumpers.
In his second season only, Thybulle is already arguably the best in the league when it comes to blocking shots from guard position, and that was fully displayed in Game 2. Then there were the interceptions. Four of them – largely the result of advanced Thybulle awareness and nose for the ball.
Probably the best individual example of Thybulle’s dominant defense in Game 2 came at the start of the game’s fourth quarter when Wizards forward Rui Hachimura ran out of steam.
Since Thybulle stuffed Hachimura’s shot and then stole the ball from him on the same possession, it seems safe to say that this is a streak Hachimura will try not to dedicate to long-term memory. Thybulle has been making games like this all year round, so his performance came as no surprise to Philadelphia fans, but it’s always impressive how much controlled chaos he can bring off the bench. in limited series.
After the game, Sixers coach Doc Rivers compared Thybulle to Hawks guard and three-time NBA sixth man of the year award winner Lou Williams. At first glance, the comparison might seem odd, but the comparison is a very valid one, as Williams is known to deliver an instant attack off the bench, and Thybulle does the same for Philadelphia.
“I guess you can tell he’s our defensive end Lou Williams,” Rivers said. “Like Lou Williams, and I had Jamal Crawford, those two guys, offensively when you threw them, you told them if they pass the ball once you were going to take them out. Their job was to score. Matisse’s job is to stop when he enters. I haven’t had a lot of guys [like that]. Tony Allen, I guess a long time ago, was very similar because he stepped off the bench for us. ”
It was the second game in a row that Thybulle has garnered praise from the team for the impact it has had on the defensive end. After Sunday’s first game, Joel Embiid said he thought Thybulle played the best of the whole team on that side.
“He was great,” Embiid said. “I thought he was probably doing the best job of everyone on the team, and that was huge. I’ve preached all season, whether it’s being part of the All-Defensive squad or saying he has a chance to be a defensive player. year if he has the minutes to accomplish that. So he’s been huge all season, and we’ll need him to do the same. ”
The Sixers have a Defensive Player of the Year finalist in Ben Simmons and an elite rim protector in Embiid, and Thybulle could be the team’s best defensive player. He seems destined to form multiple All-Defensive teams and fight for multiple DPOY trophies over the course of his career. These things will come with increased opportunities on the pitch as he continues to develop as an overall player. In the meantime however, Thybulle has already carved out an important role for himself although he is somewhat rude on the offensive end. The Sixers are a legitimate contender thanks in large part to the strength of their dominant defense, and Thybulle is a big part of that.