About an hour before the start of the Celtics-Heat Eastern Conference Finals (*massive groan*), the NBA released its First and Second All-Rookie teams:
2019-20 NBA All-Rookie teams:— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) September 15, 2020
First team: Ja Morant, Kendrick Nunn, Zion Williamson, Brandon Clarke, Eric Paschall
Second team: Coby White, Tyler Herro, Terence Davis II, PJ Washington, Rui Hachimura
Notably, for Philadelphia fans, Matisse Thybulle was not selected to one of the teams. Matisse obtained the 12th-highest point total overall, receiving 6 First Team votes and 43 Second Team votes.
Below are the other players who received votes for the 2019-20 NBA All-Rookie Team.— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) September 15, 2020
RJ Barrett tops the list with 10 first team votes (worth 2 points each) and 41 second team votes (worth 1 point each), totaling 61 points. pic.twitter.com/no9jk6hknC
In my incredibly biased opinion, Thybulle deserved a Second Team All-Rookie selection. He was one of the most disruptive defenders in the entire NBA, not just among rookies. Among NBA players who appeared in at least 15 games during the regular season, the Young Bulle ranked third in steals per 36 minutes (2.6), and tied for fifth among guards in blocks per 36 minutes (1.3).
Matisse was the victim of these sorts of awards voting skewing heavily towards offensive production. His ranking 48th among rookies in points per game (4.7) was obviously a huge knock against him. Still, did Terence Davis’s mark of 7.5 points per game warrant overlooking Thybulle’s dominance on the other end? I would argue it did not.
How many of these other rookies appeared on Good Morning America this year though? That’s what I thought. You’re the real winner, Matisse. Work on looking a little less deer-in-a-headlight-like while dribbling in the open court and come back hungrier than ever next season.