Philadelphia 76ers rookie Matisse Thybulle has had a very impressive preseason. He’s not only looked like one of the more NBA-ready rookies from his class but he’s looked like one of the best defenders in the entire league. Thybulle averaged 2.6 steals and 1.4 blocks through 5 preseason appearances. He was the only guard to crack the top 20 in steals and blocks during the preseason.
Thybulle has proven to be a reliable and tough defender, capable of tackling any assignment he’s been given. He’s surprised many spectators around the league with his immediate impact on the defensive end on the floor, leaving some to even compare him to previous defensive juggernauts.
Amin Elhassan of ESPN took some time during The Jump to compare Thybulle to former NBA star, Tayshaun Prince. You can check out the clip below where Elhassan gushes about Thybulle and how his defensive intensity reminds him of the former Detroit Pistons star.
That’s quite the comparison for a rookie who was drafted 21st overall in this summer’s draft. Tayshaun Prince, who was a late first-round pick himself, had a successful 14-year career where he won a title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons and was a 4x All-Defensive selection. Prince is mostly remembered for his contributions on the defensive end of the floor, where he terrorized opponents with his quick hands and long frame. Prince never put up godly numbers but he was crucial to his teams’ success because of his ability to hit open shots and lock down the other team’s best players.
Thybulle should have a similar role to Prince’s with the Philadelphia 76ers. They are considered to be one of the true contenders entering this season and are expected to have one of the best defenses in the league. Having a player like Matisse Thybulle could be huge for the Sixers, especially come playoff time where the game slows down in the half-court.
Thybulle will be a defensive anchor for the Sixers this season, just like Prince was for his teams. He has some big shoes to fill if he’s going to be compared to Tayshaun Prince but there’s no doubt that Thybulle will be one of the league’s best defenders right and an immediate impact player that the city of Philadelphia will love.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports