For this week’s episode of Sixers Film Fix (a new series to hopefully help those who miss watching basketball), I’ve focused on Matisse Thybulle film. While his rookie season had its ups and downs — with spells of cold three-point shooting after he returned from injury and overly aggressive, foul-prone defensive gambling — his performance overall is still one of the better stories of the Philadelphia 76ers’ season.
Thybulle may have been the best rookie perimeter defender that we’ve seen, at least in recent memory. He also displayed some improved composure with his handle and passing decisions on offense as the season progressed, and he still managed to shoot a reasonable 35.2 percent from three. He averaged 1.4 steals and 0.7 blocks per game (2.6 and 1.3 per 36 minutes, respectively), and became just the second player in NBA history to record a steal percentage of at least 3.5 and a block percentage of at least 3 in a season (with a minimum of 500 minutes played).
First up, here are some of Thybulle’s best steals. There were a lot to choose from.
Matisse Thybulle played some of the best perimeter defense we've ever seen from a rookie this season.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) May 8, 2020
Here are some of his best steals (he averaged 2.6 per 36 minutes) pic.twitter.com/eDP2euPsWJ
Next, some of his best blocks. As I noted in this Twitter thread, there are plenty of impressive elements to his shot-blocking ability — his instincts, timing, speed to close out on shooters, rear contests, competitiveness on drives, and defense around screens.
Here are some of Matisse Thybulle's best blocks of 2019-20 pic.twitter.com/gHbUfNESGA— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) May 12, 2020
Finally, I decided to look back at what I think was Ben Simmons’s best game of the season, and perhaps the best of his career when considering how dominant he was at both ends of the floor.
I’m talking about his performance in the Sixers’ 117-111 win against the Brooklyn Nets on January 20. Simmons recorded 34 points (shooting 12-of-14 from the floor and 10-of-14 from the free throw line), 12 rebounds, 12 assists (to only 3 turnovers), 5 steals and 2 blocks.
Ben Simmons had his best game of the season (and maybe of his career) on January 20 against the Nets.— Tom West (@TomWestNBA) May 15, 2020
34 points (12/14 FG, 10/14 FT), 12 rebounds, 12 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocks. Aggressive attacking the rim, worked really well as a roll man, and played great defense. pic.twitter.com/uBwa1zNS4N
Please feel free to suggest videos you’d like to see in the comments, and you can find me on Twitter @TomWestNBA to see videos throughout the week.