Sixers: First look at Matisse Thybulle’s improved jumper

Matisse Thybulle, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Matisse Thybulle, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

It has no doubt been a whirlwind offseason for Matisse Thybulle. After his spectacular failure in the playoffs, Thybulle was at the center of trade rumors all summer. The Sixers are said to have discussed Thybulle will almost every NBA team, and he was more explicitly tied to rumors revolving around Eric Gordon.

In the end, Thybulle is still with the team. As the Sixers gear up for another season of contention, Thybulle will be adjusting to a new role with the second unit — his starting spot from last season being handed over to veteran P.J. Tucker. The early reports from training camp have been quite positive. Doc Rivers praised Thybulle’s work ethic and it’s clear the 25-year-old recognizes the need for tangible offensive growth.

He spent the summer focusing on 3-point shooting and open-court dribbling, both of which are weaknesses that have held him back in the past. Thybulle is a brilliant, one-of-one defender, but until he becomes serviceable on offense his ceiling will always be capped in Philadelphia.

This week, we got our first glimpse of Thybulle’s “new” jumper.

Can the Sixers rely on Matisse Thybulle’s new jumper?

"“Tobias [Harris] challenged me to just shoot and live with whatever the results were. He and some of the other guys have come up to me like ‘You’ve put in the work. Now just go do it and live with whatever happens’. I made a couple, but for me, it’s about taking the shots. It’s not really the challenge, but the initiation. Give myself permission to shoot these shots because I’m capable.” — Matisse Thybulle (via Ky Carlin/SixersWire)"

Thybulle spoke at media day of “condensing” his shot mechanics and getting rid of “wasted movement.” That is evident in the video. It would be excessive to describe Thybulle’s new mechanics as an overhaul, but the form certainly looks more crisp and concise.

And, not terribly unlike his fellow Australian Ben Simmons before him, a lot of Thybulle’s issues are mental. He has always been more willing to shoot than Simmons, but there was a clear and marked loss of confidence last season — especially in the playoffs after the fanbase turned on him in the Toronto series. Tobias Harris has the right mindset: Thybulle has to take 3s and live with the results. He put in the work, now it’s team to reap the rewards.

Last season, Thybulle shot 31.3 percent on 2.4 attempts per game from deep. The league average hovers around 35 percent every season: that should be Thybulle’s goal. It’s not unattainable either, as he shot 35.7 percent from 3 as a rookie. If Thybulle can increase both his volume and his efficiency from deep, then his stock will quickly rise.

Thybulle will get his chance to perform next season. His spot in the rotation is less concrete than in seasons past (P.J. Tucker, Danuel House, and De’Anthony Melton are all bankable 3-and-D wings), but Thybulle has made two All-Defensive teams in just three NBA seasons. The Sixers will not be quick to disregard such a talented defender. If the work on his jumper pays dividends, we could see Thybulle fighting for his spot in the starting five again.

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