Team USA took home the gold in men’s basketball by beating France (well done, KD), but as honorary Aussies here in the greater Philadelphia area, we were more concerned with the bronze medal game between Australia and Slovenia. Now, what do you do with an Olympic medal on the line? You move Matisse Thybulle into the starting lineup.
Matisse Thybulle gets his first start for Australia today, as the Boomers play for bronze.— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) August 7, 2021
Tasked with slowing down Slovenian star Luka Doncic, the Boomers brought in their defensive ace. The results were certainly positive. Luka finished the game with 22 points, but on 20 field goal attempts, while turning over the ball eight times. Doncic finally connected on a couple stepback 3s in the fourth quarter, but Matisse and the Boomers did especially well on Luka early on, helping to build an 8-point lead at half.
Boomers up, 53-45 at halftime of the Bronze Medal Game.— Lauren Rosen (@LaurenMRosen) August 7, 2021
Thybulle: 7 PTS / 3-3 FG / 2 AST / 2 STL
Matisse & co. hold Doncic to 9 PTS (2-8 FG) in the first half.
For the game, Patty Mills did the heavy lifting on offense with 42 points, but Matisse more then did his part to contribute to the 107-93 win, recording 11 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals, and one block, (plus encouragingly, zero turnovers). As usual, Thybulle was extremely active, with dunks galore, including one that beat the first-half buzzer.
Matisse Thybulle takes it away and flies for a huge dunk to increase Australias lead going into halftime. pic.twitter.com/7eUMWvISFV— hoops bot (@hoops_bot) August 7, 2021
One sequence perfectly encapsulated Thybulle’s positive on-court effect, poking the ball away from Luka from behind, then assisting on a 3 on the other end.
The little things that Matisse Thybulle does. Gets the deflection as Luka spins and immediately runs the floor. Gets the pass from Mills and instead of forcing it finds the open man for 3. pic.twitter.com/jEiQEe7J8H— Steve Jones Jr. (@stevejones20) August 7, 2021
With the Sixers presumably poised to move on from Ben Simmons, Matisse’s value as a perimeter defender will be increasingly crucial. It was great to see Thybulle wreck havoc for two weeks in Tokyo, while also flashing some strides on the offensive end as well. I have no problem with the Boomers’ version of Scottie Pippen seeing even more floor time when he’s back in the states.
Australia without Matisse Thybulle: 0 Olympic medals in men’s basketball
Australia with Matisse Thybulle: 1 Olympic medal in men’s basketball
Congratulations to Matisse Thybulle and the Boomers!
AUSTRALIA GOT BRONZE BUT IT FEELS LIKE GOLD pic.twitter.com/BosuJmdLDY— olympic thybulle (@6biscuits) August 7, 2021