Matisse Thybulle has to be on cloud 9 right now after his team took the win in Philadelphia against the scorching hot Golden State Warriors team and MVP favorite Stephen Curry. Thybulle put the clamps on Steph all night, forcing him into a state of discomfort at every level, forcing him to shoot 6/20 from the field and 3/14 from three.
Thybulle is also the first person ever to block Curry on multiple 3 point attempts in a single game, showing his continuous disruptive ability.
His defensive ability is amazing, and through the 20 games he has played this year, he is posting averages of 1.8 steals per game and 1.2 blocks per game, both of which would be career highs for him. On top of that, Thybulle is posting career highs in points per game (5.7), rebounds per game (2.3), and field goal percentage (48.5%).
Currently, Matisse sits at ninth in the league in steals per game. He also sits at 19th in the league in blocks per game. No player is nearly as prolific in both statistics as Thybulle is. Blocks per game are dominated by only power forwards and centers who would at best be uncomfortable guarding a player like Steph. Steals per game is dominated by guards like Marcus Smart and Chris Paul and a few other guard-forward hybrids who rarely match up against bigs. Thybulle is capable and excels in nearly every matchup.
His continued improvement on offense mirrors his defensive improvement and shows the fantastic work ethic of Thybulle as he has continued to improve on both what he excels at (defensive) and what he has struggled with in the past (offense).
His absence is also felt when he has been forced to miss time with COVID-19 protocols. In the 7 games without Matisse Thybulle this year, the 76ers posted an awful defensive rating of 115.4. That would be the worst defensive rating in the league.
However, with Matisse Thybulle, the Sixers have posted a defensive rating of 108.8, good enough for 15th in the league. That is a 6.6 point swing in defensive rating for the Philadelphia 76ers. Matisse, while not single-handedly, has been one of the main factors in this defense and is one of the most impactful defensive players in the league.
Matisse meets all criteria to win Defensive Player of the Year. He has done amazing things for the Sixers, regularly making his matchup uncomfortable. He has done so much at such a young age and truly is deserving of winning Defensive Player of the Year.