Ranking the Sixers’ most important defenders

P.J. Tucker, Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
P.J. Tucker, Tobias Harris, Sixers (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /
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Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports /

Matisse Thybulle

Last, but certainly not least, is Matisse Thybulle. Thybulle has been identified as a defensive specialist since his college days at the University of Washington. Defense is not something that is ever questioned when it comes to his game, that would be his offense.

Thybulle has been on the NBA All-Defensive teams the last two seasons and one of those years he only started eight games! Do you realize how impressive it is for a player to make an all league defensive team while only playing 20 minutes per game and coming off the bench? That is how undeniable Thybulle’s defense is.

Yet the Catch-22 lies with the fact that it does not matter how good his defense is, if he has less than zero offensive game. When Thybulle has been on the floor, the Sixers essentially play four versus five on offense.

I know this article has been focusing on the most important defenders for the Sixers this season, but in order for Thybulle to be a contributing factor on the defensive end he needs to develop an offensive game enough to be able to stay on the court. There have been reports from this offseason that Thybulle has focused his offseason on improving his 3-point shooting and that is music to my ears if true.

Forgive me for being reluctant to believe this though. As Sixers fans we have suffered through enough offseason where there was reporting that Simmons focused and improved his shooting and offensive game, only to see an even worse offensive player year after year.

As a whole unit, I think the Philadelphia 76ers have the opportunity to be a league leader in defensive efficiency and it starts with Embiid and Tucker setting the tone for the team. If the Sixers have Championship aspirations, which they should, it must start on the defensive end of the floor.

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