Yes, Team USA got its first win in Olympic play, routing former Sixers second-round pick Arsalan Kazemi and Iran, 120-66. But we are firmly Boomers supporters here, so how did Matisse Thybulle and Team Australia do? Well enough!
Facing a feisty Italian squad, Australia moved to 2-0 in pool play with a narrow 86-83 victory. Five Boomers scored in double figures, none of whom were Matisse Thybulle. However, Young ‘Bulle had another strong all-around effort, recording seven points (2-of-3 FG, 1-of-1 3PT, 2-of-2 FT), three rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block, with no turnovers. Thybulle’s two made free throws came with 14 seconds left in the contest to extend it from a one-possession to a two-possession game.
As usual, Matisse’s outstanding defensive capability was on display. Commentating as part of the Seven Network’s broadcast team in Australia, former NBA big man Andrew Bogut said he thinks Thybulle will eventually win an NBA Defensive Player of the Year award. No arguments here. Here’s the write-up from SportingNews Australia on Matisse’s contributions on the defensive end:
“Following his impressive showing against Nigeria, Matisse Thybulle was at it again on the defensive end against Italy, blowing up pick-and-rolls, playing the passing lanes and contesting every shot that came in his direction.
He picked up two quick fouls and had to sit early in the game, but his ability to force turnovers and create transition opportunities was crucuial [sic] tonight as the Aussies struggled at times to generate offence in the half-court.”
Also, though, Matisse had some terrific offensive contributions, moreso as a playmaker than usual.
Matisse Thybulle:— Poole Got Next (PGN) (@PooleGotNxt) July 28, 2021
1) Slips the screen, drawing the low man
2) Makes an instantaneous decision on the interior read
Seen a couple of impressive passing reads from Tisse today pic.twitter.com/s4slA4xpwM
And you always love to see him knocking down those shots from the perimeter:
we need more of this from you @MatisseThybulle! keep up the good work! a 3 and D guy in the making! pic.twitter.com/Lw3YN9QnAW— olympic thybulle (@6biscuits) July 28, 2021
Finally, I told you last time that Matisse was likely to get his dunk revenge next time out:
✈️ Flying Kangaroo ✈️— FIBA #Tokyo2020 (@FIBA) July 28, 2021
@MatisseThybulle #Tokyo2020 | #Basketball pic.twitter.com/auQQqWaotq
Keep smiling and shining, Matisse.