Grading every Sixers player: Matisse Thybulle // C-
I have always been something of a cynic when it comes to Matisse Thybulle. Now, it would appear the rest of the fanbase has joined me in that cynicism after the 25-year-old’s controversial and ultimately unproductive postseason. It’s hard to survive in the playoffs when you have no discernible offensive skill set.
It’s easy to forget that, for most of the season, Thybulle was the Sixers’ fifth starter. He was playing 25-30 minutes each night, he was closing games often enough, and he was the clear No. 5 in the team’s hierarchy. Then, when the playoffs arrived and it was clear Thybulle wouldn’t be available for road games in Toronto, the team moved to Danny Green and never looked back. Because Danny was flat-out better.
Thybulle is still an excellent and unique perimeter defender. He can change the course of a game with his disruptiveness. He has several impressive one-on-one showcases on his resumé too. Not many players can chase Trae Young or Devin Booker around screens like Thybulle. He’s too good on defense to write off completely. And yet, the Sixers legitimately could not survive his minutes in the playoffs. He was consistently dragging the team down on offense, and his defense wasn’t even that good. Strong, clever wings like Jimmy Butler can really put Matisse through the wringer because of his tendency to gamble and over-help.
The path forward for Thybulle is unclear. He’s due for an extension soon and I’m not sure the Sixers should want to pay it. He has shown no meaningful improvement skill wise, except for slight growth as a cutter and a dunker’s spot operator in the wake of Ben Simmons’ absence. His 3-point mechanics still look terrible, he still has no discernible touch on his shot, and the decision-making is regularly baffling. He’s also not that young. He’s 25, which means he’s essentially entering his prime. He has to do better next season.