Matisse Thybulle has been the town’s toast for the past two days due to his ridiculous defense against Warriors of the Golden State‘Steph Curry, linked to the MVP. Curry entered the recent two-team contest on Saturday just ten seconds from breaking the all-time record, currently held by Ray Allen.
Steph logged into three of them that night. But failed to make history or achieve a victory. The Sixers beat Golden State 102-93, led largely by Matisse Thybulle’s stellar defense against one of the greatest players in NBA history. He continues to advocate for the best perimeter stopper in the NBA.
According to ESPN statistics and information, Thybulle held Curry to 2 of 13 shots as the main defender. He held the greatest shooter of all time just 1 in 9 behind the arc. It was a masterclass in shadow cover.
Matisse Thybulle limited Stephen Curry to 2 of 13 shots as the main defender on Saturday, including 1 of 9 from beyond the arc.
Thybulle also became the first player to block multiple Curry 3-point attempts in a single match. pic.twitter.com/SCbXmV2y3S
– ESPN statistics and information (@ESPNStatsInfo) 12 December 2021
Thybulle also became the only player to block Curry multiple times from a distance in the same match. Obviously, Steph felt he had enough room to take a routine step back. But, at the bottom, notice Matisse staying with him the entire way, contesting with one hand, then securing the block with the other:
Thybulle joined teammates Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid as members of both All-NBA defensive teams last season. Simmons was a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year and made the First Team. Embiid and Thybulle made the second team.
Through DunksandThrees.com, Thybulle currently ranks 11th in plus-minus defensive ratings. He joins names like Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler and Alex Caruso in the top 15 in this category, claiming another All-NBA defensive team.
According to Mark Haynes of ClutchPoints, Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said Thybulle had done “as good a job on Steph as anyone I’ve seen in a long time.”
Steve Kerr on whether Stephen Curry could have mixed up more to start: “I give credit to (Matisse) Thybulle. I thought he was fantastic defensively. It’s a rare combination of length, athleticism and brain. did as good a job on Steph as anyone I’ve seen in a long time. “
– Mark Haynes (@markhaynesnba) 12 December 2021
“Dude, I’ve been on this since he got here, I think he’s got a chance to be defensive player of the year,” Embiid said, via Lisa Salters of ESPN.
After the game, Embiid added that his 24-year-old teammate is “Probably the best perimeter defender in the league.” Huge praise for a guy who spent his career with Ben Simmons at the helm of the wing.
The Sixers have been forced to hand Thybulle many of the toughest games on the perimeter this season. In years past, it was Simmons who handled this work. Thybulle admirably fulfilled. As business rumors surrounding Simmons escalate, the team may think they have someone who can replace a Curry or Trae Young without losing too much; Thybulle’s presence may still encourage them to target a perimeter shooter knowing they can trust Washington’s product with the greatest challenges defensively.
Thybulle entered the league as a scholar, reading passing lanes and causing errors. But it was his development as a goalscorer on the ball against the best in the game that transcended his value on the pitch.
Thybulle’s performance on Saturday even had one of the greatest defensive players in league history:
It’s been a few years since losing a match bothered me so much… It’s good
– Draymond Green (@ Money23Green) 12 December 2021
Head coach Doc Rivers saw something special in the way Thybulle kept Curry when the teams first met in November. Even though the Sixers lost that one, it still caught the attention of his head coach.
“How many shooting blocks did you see with him with jump shots?” The rivers marveled. “It’s abnormal. You don’t see that. He gets one or two per game sometimes because of his cooldown.
And you can’t forget this little gem from last season:
Inspector Gadget is back in place against the Grizzlies and Liberty Ballers has your game coverage. He won’t have the chance to control the Memphis phenomenon Ja Morant, who is healing from a knee injury. But we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next.