Sixers praise Matisse Thybulle on defense against Celtics


The Philadelphia 76ers knew the challenge they faced on Friday when they hosted rival Boston Celtics. Despite their record, the Celtics offer two high-scoring machines in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown that are tough to deal with every night.

The Sixers threw Matisse Thybulle at both of them and he did what he does best which is to wreak havoc and make life miserable for both of them. The two combined to shoot 4 for 20 in the first half and they ended up shooting 14 for 35 on the night as the Sixers edged out the Celtics 111-99.

“He was the guy,” coach Doc Rivers said. “He was phenomenal. He kept Tatum, he kept Brown, but I think we did a good job with the other guys defending the other guy. I thought the team’s defense was as good as it gets. with great individual efforts as well.

It was one of those games that Thybulle has a huge impact on. The Celtics offer a great defensive challenge and he rises to the challenge of doing what he does best and making life miserable for his opponents.

“You can tell he likes those types of matchups,” Joel Embiid said. “You go back to the Steph (Curry) one and all year really we’ve played Boston now three times. JT really struggled with it. He’s got length and he’s athletic in the passing lanes, able to recover, that’s huge.

His ability to get into passing lanes was huge to get the Sixers off to a strong start. Philadelphia finished the first quarter on a 28-4 run to take a 32-14 lead after one quarter.

“Good energy,” said Seth Curry. “Good defending, sharing the ball, and we had saves to get them a bunch of tough shots which they’re willing to take. We just tried to stay in front of them, send help all over the place. field and bouncing the ball, stealing a lot, getting out and running. Our offense was good because our defense was good.

Thybulle finished his night with five interceptions and two blocks before coming away with pain in his right shoulder. It was an impressive performance for one of the game’s elite defenders on the pitch.

“Every team needs that and I always tell him to be as aggressive as he wants because I’m out there and I’ll cover anything,” Embiid added. “I hope he is well and that we can continue to win games.”

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