Sixers: Pros and cons of starting Matisse Thybulle

The Philadelphia 76ers have begun their 2021 preseason without their starting guard Ben Simmons. As the season approaches, will the Sixers coaching staff consider starting Matisse Thybulle?

Protecting the basket was an ingredient in the 76ers’ recipe for success last season. At the end of the 2020-21 regular season, the Sixers were ranked third in defense. Throughout the season, Philadelphia’s goal was to improve on locking down opponents. Many enthusiasts attribute this defensive surge to the starters on the Sixers roster, but Matisse Thybulle executed a significant role.

The Philadelphia 76ers understood the potential Matisse Thybulle possessed. In 2019, the Sixers organization drafted Thybulle with their first-round pick. On paper, Matisse is a player who could lock defenders down and provide well-timed buckets. His collegiate career with the Washington Huskies served as an example.

Thybulle averaged 3.5 steals per game during his senior season. At the end of his career, Matisse Thybulle recorded 1242 total points. His effort on the court caught the eyes of the Philadelphia executives.

Having Matisse Thybulle on the roster has benefitted the Sixers. His ability to read passing lanes and contest shots has raised increased the playing tempo of the team. As Thybulle became acclimated to the association, his defensive play allowed him to stand out. Last season, Thybulle averaged 1.5 steals per game. His one block per game average showed the Philadelphia fanbase that he could provide a spark for the team at any moment.

What are the pros and cons to the Sixers starting Matisse Thybulle? 

The Sixers will be missing a piece to their defensive scheme this season. Philadelphia will be expecting to start the regular season without their point guard Ben Simmons. For the first time since 2017, the Sixers will be playing without a defensive guard.

The Sixers will have to rely on other players to step in and lock down some of the most explosive backcourts. Players such as Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker, and Trae Young will be making themselves familiar with their conference rivals. Matisse Thybulle is a player who has shown that he can make a difference in the clutch against star players. His performance on the court earned him a second team All-Defense selection last season. When compared to other guards on the roster, Thybulle is the best at locking up.

The Philadelphia coaching staff understands that inserting Matisse into the starting lineup is a big jump. Despite his defensive abilities, the Sixers must believe that Thybulle can contribute on offense. Scoring the basketball has been something that the second-year guard must improve if he wants to rise on the depth chart.

As a Huskie, Thybulle averaged only 9.2 points per game. The results have been the same while in the association. His 3.9 points per game will be something for Matisse to improve this season.

The Sixers are aware of the potential Matisse Thybulle possesses. If he wants to crack the starting five, he has to continue working.