Philadelphia 76ers

Is Matisse Thybulle the key to stopping Trae Young?

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As the Philadelphia 76ers head into Game 2 of their Second Round Playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks, the team has a major issue on it’s hands in the way of a supremely-talented 22-yea-old PG. Thankfully, Matisse Thybulle may hold the keys to the solution.

Trae Young has stepped up his game in the playoffs. His minutes, scoring, assists, shooting percentage, free-throw percentage, and three-point percentage are all up over his regular season averages. His fouls and turnovers are the only thing that are down and that’s even more of a problem. 

Are they really concerned with Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela or John Collins taking over games and sending the Sixers home? I don’t think so. As Trae Young goes, so do the Atlanta Hawks. 

Consistency is important when you’re trying to build a championship team but, at some point, you have to look at some of the players on the roster and wonder if they wouldn’t be better off playing a different role.

While the starting lineup has done very well together this season, it has to be the time to make a change. One change, while it doesn’t seem like a big deal, will make all of the difference. 

Danny Green has been good for the Sixers this season. His veteran leadership, level of play and the knowledge he brings to the team have really helped the younger players. Unfortunately for Green, one of those players needs to take his spot in the starting lineup.

Matisse Thybulle has been great in limited minutes this year. What seemed like a good defensive role player has quickly developed in to one of the most feared defenders in the league. 

Thybulle has become a nightmare for opposing teams when he’s on the floor, which has been less than twenty minutes per game this season. He consistently disrupts passing lanes and forces turnovers. What may be his best quality is that when he makes mistakes, his recovery time is amazingly quick. Overplaying passes or defenders doesn’t really hurt the team as much when he’s on the floor as he doesn’t make a lot of defensive mistakes but when he does he is back on his man, almost instantly. 

Matisse Thybulle has increased his limited scoring in the playoffs, even slightly. In their Game 1 loss to the Hawks, Thybulle had 10 points with a steal, block rebound and assist in only nineteen minutes. While Danny Green only had 4 points to go along with 2 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. The secondary stats aren’t bad, but considering he shot 28% from the floor and ZERO from beyond the three-point line doesn’t help the team while he played 30 minutes. The biggest issue is that he was tasked with guarding Young. 

Having an elite defender, who’s ten years younger and more adept at guarding Young is what the Sixers need to utilize. Moving Thybulle into the starting lineup is the move that needs to be made prior to Game 2 on Tuesday night. It’s the logical solution for the Sixers to contain Young. 

Green, on the other hand, would be moved to a second unit that would allow him to defend lesser players, more effectively and hopefully get his scoring back in line. 

The starters for the Sixers and their second unit have been fine, but it’s time to make that switch. Thybulle and Simmons on the floor would allow for less scoring from Atlanta but open up the fast breaks and easy points for the Sixers. Something they lacked in Game 1. 

Stop Trae Young. That’s the goal and the Sixers can cruise into the next round of the playoffs. In order to do that, Matisse Thybulle needs to be starting over Danny Green, it’s a simple formula. 

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

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Born and raised in Fishtown, I write.

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