Sixers Lead

3 Reasons Thybulle Could Be Pivotal for Sixers’ Success

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Matisse Thybulle has been spectacular for the 76ers this season at both ends of the floor. Many criticized Elton Brand on draft night for the trade as it meant giving up on sharpshooter Carsen Edwards. However, it seems that Brand has pulled off a masterstroke. Here are three reasons why Matisse Thybulle’s presence could be pivotal for Philly’s success.

1. Don’t waste assets on a rental

The Sixers may be aggressive at the trade deadline, but their pieces seem weak. They are desperate for someone comfortable shooting the three. One player every hopeful will chase is Wizards forward Davis Bertans. He is currently first in Washington on three-pointers made per game (3.7), shooting them at 42.8%. Realistically, does Philly have enough to acquire his services, and would they have to overpay for a rental? The Sixers giving up picks and two of Zhaire Smith/Furkan Korkmaz/Jonah Bolden/Mike Scott may cause regrets.

To add to this thought, The Athletic reported last month that NBA opinions suggest Bertans could receive around $15-20 million in free agency. The Sixers would, therefore, have no chance of re-signing the Latvian Laser with their current salaries. Maybe, just maybe, Matisse can fill this 3-point void the Sixers desperately need and save their valuable assets for the future.

2. Three-point shooting

Philadelphia’s best option would be to develop the significant talent they already have at their disposal. Thybulle has the potential to develop into a real 6th man who can play lock-down defense and hit the three. His catch-and-shoot game is always improving. He is currently 36th in the NBA for 3P% at 40.2%. This strength is relatively helpful considering the Sixers’ woes from the three-point line. In games where he has been on the court for over 20 minutes, he’s shot 46.4% from three (26/56). This proves he is a legitimate threat from the arc.

 

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3. Lock Down Defense

Philadelphia brought Thybulle in on draft night because of his defensive prowess. At the time, fans said he was the best defensive player in the 2019 Draft, and he is certainly making his case for this title. He is currently 28th in the NBA with 51 steals in 687 minutes, with Ben Simmons (1,507 minutes) number one having 88 steals. If you compare the per-36 minutes, Thybulle has an incredible 2.7 steals compared to Simmons 2.1 steals per 36. This is hypothetical, of course, but the sample size is substantial enough (687 minutes) to understand the relevance of this statistic.

Matisse’s absence and the temporary downturn in the Sixers’ form is no coincidence. Philadelphia is 15-2 when their rookie plays 20+ minutes, and the Sixers were 3-4 during his injury. The stats do not lie; Brett Brown needs to start giving Matisse the minutes he deserves. Sixer fans always fear the worst when it comes to rookie injuries, as the past has not served them well. Thybulle needs to run with the same intensity he sustained before his injury. Then, he could propel them to achieve greatness.

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