Bradley Beal taught discipline to Matisse Thybulle in the Sixers vs Wizards playoffs
Second-year Philadelphia 76ers goaltender Matisse Thybulle is a defensive specialist. Since arriving in the NBA in the first round of the 2019 Draft, Thybulle has been recognized as one of the best defensemen out of the NCAA.
Now he’s working to be recognized as one of the best defensemen in the entire NBA. Coming off the Sixers bench this season, Thybulle is actually a potential contender for the defensive set.
But he’s far from a perfect player, even on his stronger side of the ball. Thybulle has his weaknesses and he’s learned a valuable lesson in Philly’s first round series against the Washington Wizards over the past two weeks.
Since Thybulle is the best defenseman on the Sixers wing coming off the bench, he draws immediate clashes against some of the best players on the pitch. For the last five games, Thybulle has been tasked with guarding Wizards superstar Bradley Beal.
“He’s actually one of the best scorers in the world,” said the second-year guard after Philly’s victory in Game 5 on Wednesday. “He is a very high level player, a high level competitor. His willingness to take on the challenge of scoring on me, Ben (Simmons), Danny Green, Joel Embiid – he embraces those challenges.
Although Beal got his numbers throughout the series, Thybulle and the Sixers did a solid job defensively overall. And not only did the second-year guard walked out of the series with a tag team win and a ticket to the next round, but he learned a valuable lesson from keeping Beal.
“[I’ve learned to have] discipline, ”Thybulle said. “When you keep guys this talented, the bets I can make with other guys in other situations aren’t going to fly because they’re just too talented. He reads too fast, and when you’re at that level, he knows the tendencies of the guys guarding him, and it shows clearly with the way he attacks depending on who is guarding him. For me, at the end of the day, continue to be more and more disciplined.
The road doesn’t get any easier for Thybulle. After starring in a series against stars such as Russell Westbrook and Bradley Beal, Thybulle will face Atlanta Hawks superstar Trae Young. In the first round against the New York Knicks, Young averaged just under 30 points per game in 36 minutes.
Beal may be the better and more experienced player between the two scorers, but Young provides another tough challenge for Thybulle. Perhaps the lessons he learned in the Round One series will help him translate better into the Round Two series, which begins on Sunday.