76ers

Sixers' Matisse Thybulle endorses a nickname, appreciates fans trusting his process

Sixers' Matisse Thybulle endorses a nickname, appreciates fans trusting his process

Matisse Thybulle has only played 31 NBA regular-season games, but he’s already inspired a variety of nicknames.

There’s one he endorses above all others: Mathief.

“That’s the one I’ve heard the most,” he told The Action Network’s Rob Perez. “I like it. I just think it’s funny because my name’s Matisse and there are the s’s at the end. For me, it feels like somebody is saying my name with a really long lisp. … I think it’s cool because the whole idea of a thief stealing and my name. I think of all those, that’s my favorite.”

Thybulle, who leads all rookies with 43 steals, has an attacking defensive mindset. He’s talked often about working to find the appropriate balance between risk-taking and team responsibility. The University of Washington product, healthy again after a seven-game absence because of a right knee injury, always seems to be waiting to pounce.

“For me, it’s simple, because you have to have the ball to score,” he said. “To do anything in the game effectively, the ball has to be involved in the play. So, that gives you a certain level of advantage on defense. You know what they're trying to do involves this one thing.

"Trying to bait them into making the play that they want to make — even though you know they want to — and making it seem like it’s there and it's all appealing, like, ‘Oh yeah, we can make this pass,’ and then at the last second taking it away, that’s one thing that helps me.”

Sixers fans have quickly embraced Thybulle’s style of play and personality. He told Perez that he doesn’t feel extra pressure to meet their expectations. 

Not really, because it’s been such a cool experience. They’re like, ‘The fans are hard, if you have a bad game they’ll get you have it,’ which is very true. But for me, it’s been so much support in the sense that they understand the growth that needs to take place for a rookie. I came out and would make a lot of mistakes or having scoreless games, or have steal-less games or block-less games.

"They weren’t like, ‘Oh, what are you doing? You’re not doing your thing!’ It was this whole Trust the Process thing. Because this team has come so far to where they are now and trusted that process of what it took to get here, they’ve given me the grace to have that growing process and see where I can end up. So, I think it’s a lot more excitement than it is pressure.

The full interview with Perez is below. 



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Sixers smother Wizards in rare road win in NBA2K simulation

Sixers smother Wizards in rare road win in NBA2K simulation

If only the real Sixers were as good on the road as the NBA2K version.

The Sixers smothered the Wizards in a 64-50 win during an NBA 2K20 simulation Friday night.

A 17-0 run to start the fourth quarter pushed the Sixers’ lead from five to 22 and essentially sealed the victory.

Perhaps Washington’s mascot — who basically looks like Gonzo from the Muppets with a gut and a wizard hat on — rollerblading on the court at halftime affected the hardwood.

Here are observations from the win:

Bully ball defense

Bradley Beal got off to a scorching start, scoring all 11 of the Wizards’ first-quarter points. After that, it was tough sledding for Beal and the Wizards.

The star guard had just one point in the second and two in the third. By the time Beal hit a three with under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Sixers had already gone on a 17-0 run and put the game away.

Embiid quiet again

For some reason, the Sixers don’t get the ball to their best player in this video game. It makes zero sense. Embiid did appear to be playing banged up. He kept flexing his shoulder and had a little medical symbol pop up next to him. Embiid scored one basket with 16.9 seconds left in the first half. That’s it. He did challenge a ton of shots at the rim.

On the other hand, Ian Mahinmi was the Wizards’ best player and played really well … which is something. Mahinmi, who has one of the worst contracts in the NBA, would not normally be the type of big who takes it to Embiid, but in this simulation, it was Mahinmi’s night.

Sixers would take this Harris and Horford in real life

Yet again, Horford was strong in this simulation. He was great on both ends, punishing rookie Rui Hachimura in the post offensively and defensively. Though the mighty Mahinmi did take it to Horford on a couple possessions. 

Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson were also big in this one. Harris, who was the 2K Player of the Game, posted a double-double while Richardson put the clamps down on Beal. Both players played a big part in the fourth-quarter run.


A night to forget for Neto

In a surprise move, virtual Brett Brown decided to go with seldom-used Raul Neto as his backup point guard. It did not go well. Neto missed his first four shots, which all seemed of the forced variety. Brown had seen enough and went to Richardson as his backup one.

Brown gave Neto a second chance in the second half and the veteran point guard rewarded him. Neto came up with a steal on former Sixer Ish Smith and finished on the other end in the third.

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Sixers Talk podcast: Story time with the great Coach Jim Lynam

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Sixers Talk podcast: Story time with the great Coach Jim Lynam

On this edition of Sixers Talk, we're joined by the great Coach Jim Lynam who talked about his regrets with the Charles Barkley trade, his days with the "Jail Blazers" and told stories about Dr. J, Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks.

(1:29) • Brand being considered a candidate for the Knicks GM job?

(10:31) • COVID-19 pandemic causing an unprecedented work stoppage.

(21:12) • Joel Embiid and Josh Harris starting a campaign with Penn Medicine.

(26:30) • His relationship with Charles Barkley and the trade.

(35:40) • A story about the greatness of Moses Malone.

(39:54) • Coaching an upset over No. 1 DePaul in the NCAA Tournament.

(48:59) • Adam Silver's leadership in suspending the NBA season.

(52:29) • Coaching Rasheed Wallace and the "Jail Blazers."

(59:57) • How his close bond with Mo Cheeks formed.

(68:19) • A classic Dr. J story.

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