Three Things | Embiid Delivers, Richardson Returns, Thybulle Shines

by Lauren Rosen

In the aftermath of the 76ers' 97-92 win over the Denver Nuggets, we examine three key storylines that stood out.

Embiid Delivers

Faced with the opportunity to go head-to-head with another of the league’s best big men in Nikola Jokic, Joel Embiid embraced the opportunity.

He finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a block en route to the team’s victory.

“One of the biggest parts of my game is having fun,” Embiid said. “When I’m having fun, I dominate.”

A fan favorite since his earliest days as a Sixer, Embiid still has the same connection with the unique crowd at The Center.

“I love it. They get me going. They understand me, I do understand them.".

Tuesday marked Embiid’s 15th double-double in his 20 appearances this season.

Richardson Returns

There was a vibe of excitement at The Center Tuesday when the 76ers (18-7) hosted the Denver Nuggets due to the anticipated the return of Josh Richardson.

“You don’t really understand what you don’t have until you don’t have it,” Brett Brown said of the Sixers being without Richardson the last six games. He was sidelined with hamstring tightness.

“I’m thrilled to have him back. He really is a connector to the types of skills that we have.”

Known during his time injured as 'Coach J-Rich,' Richardson made sure his time on the bench wasn’t time wasted.

“You’ve got to make the most of it,” Richardson said. “I couldn’t just sit over there and pout because I wasn’t playing.”

Richardson found it valuable to see the game from a different angle, explaining that he learned a lot about his team and teammates during those six games.

“That’s the beauty of not playing. You can watch and observe a lot of stuff.”

But as excited as he was to be a coach, Richardson lit up in a different, brighter way Tuesday. He was back on the floor as player J-Rich, thrilled to be doing what he does best.

More than anything else, he missed competing. 

“Just competition, really. I’m a really competitive person. I’m excited to be back.”

Thybulle Strikes Again

On the heels of scoring a career-high 20 points in Sunday’s win over Toronto, Matisse Thybulle picked up right where he left off.

Against Denver Tuesday, the rookie finished with a bench-high 13 points, along with five rebounds, an assist, and a steal. He shot 3-of 4-from long range. 

Thybulle has made eight of his last 12 threes.

“It’s cool for my own confidence to prove that I can do it,” Thybulle said of developing as a consistent offensive threat.

Thybulle is now converting 46.3% from deep this season, the second-best percentage on the team behind Raul Neto (50.0%).

“I think it’s really exciting to be able to impact the game,” Thybulle said. “To know that I had a hand in helping us win today is huge. I want that to be something I can do night in and night out.”

And impact the game, he did, finishing with a game-high plus-20 rating.

Thybulle’s defense has continued to impress too. He picked three steals on Sunday, and another one on Tuesday.

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