Thybulle Shines in Blue x White Scrimmage

by Lauren Rosen

It may have been Matisse Thybulle’s first time facing All-Stars and veterans in a game-like scenario, but it sure didn’t look like it.

Playing alongside his new teammates at Saturday’s Blue x White Scrimmage at 76ers Fieldhouse in Wilmington, DE, the rookie looked right at home.

Brett Brown called his defensive work “elite.”

“I think that he can play defense, period,” Brown said.

High praise indeed.

Thybulle’s teammates and head coach have commended his defensive skills throughout training camp, particularly his ability to interrupt passing lanes. In his first chance to do so publicly, Thybulle backed that praise with action.

In the first half (there were four 10-minute quarters), Thybulle seemed to make the most of every possession. From swatting shot attempts to his multiple deflections that lead to multiple steals, Thybulle was everywhere, much to the delight of onlooking fans. 

“I hated him on defense,” said Ben Simmons with a laugh, after being guarded by Thybulle during the first half. “So far, he’s been amazing.”

When asked what stood out from Saturday’s competition, Al Horford singled out Thybulle immediately:

“I was very impressed with several of our guys, especially Matisse. His poise, his feel on defense — it’s one thing to be able to do that in college, and I know it’s just a scrimmage, but I was very encouraged from a lot of things that I saw from him, really good things.”

For Thybulle, it’s all a matter of relentless effort.

“I’m just chasing the ball every chance I get,” Thybulle said postgame. “Deflections are just a side effect of hustle for me.”

Thybulle made an impact offensively as well, demonstrating his ability to drive, draw contact, and convert from deep.

Thybulle’s early success holds special significance for Elton Brand, as Thybulle was Brand’s first draft pick as a General Manager.

So far, the 20th overall selection is making Brand proud.

“Matisse is everything I thought he would be,” Brand said. “Defensively, he’s really standing out. Offensively, he’s shooting the ball great. Off the court, he’s a great human being, great young man.”

Thybulle’s only been in the NBA for a short time, but clearly, he’s making the most of every minute.


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