Earlier this month, the Philadelphia 76ers quickly defeated the Washington Wizards in five games, even though two legitimate stars drive the Wizards at Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal.
In the series, Beal averaged 30.0 points and he shot 45.5% from the floor while being constantly harassed by elite defenders like Ben Simmons and Matisse Thybulle. The Sixers did a solid job of being able to corral him a bit, but for the most part, they had a tough time in doing so.
Sixers guard Matisse Thybulle thinks Beal is on best scores in basketball.
“He’s actually one of the best scorers in the world,” said Thybulle. “A really high-level player really, high-level competitor. His willingness to take on the challenge of scoring on me, Ben, Danny Green, Joel Embiid, he embraces these challenges.”
The second year veteran actually learned a lot from defending the three-time All-Star.
“Discipline,” Thybulle explained. “When you guard guys that are that talented, the gambles I can get away with other guys in other situations aren’t gonna fly because they’re just too talented. He makes reads too quickly and when you’re at that level, he knows the tendencies of the guys guarding him and it definitely showed with how he attacked depending on who was guarding him. For me, ultimately just continue to be more and more disciplined.”
Legendary basketball trainer Mark Edwards believes Thybulle is the best defensive player in the league.
“We watch [Philadelphia 76ers guard] Matisse Thybulle, who I consider to be the best defensive player in the NBA. He is also one of the best defensive players I have seen in my life. Matisse Thybulle is so good in college that he had a defensive mixtape showcasing his defensive prowess. Watching him slide through screens and get skinny, chest up against his opponents,” Edwards said.
Could he win defensive player of the year?
“Definitely! I think that is something that he will get in the next two to three years. I think so because he is so active once he gets a starting gig, It is going to be hard to stop him from just being overall dominant. His defensive leads to offense and the NBA is built on stops. So, the more stops that you get especially in the playoffs that is your whole season right there. You just need that one stop or you are down by five with a minute and half left. You cannot depend on steals because everything is based on stops.”
In the second round, Thybulle’s task is to help contain Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks. Game three of the Hawks and Sixers semi-final series is on Friday Night.