PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers spoiled Matisse Thybulle’s homecoming with a win, though it did not come easy against the former Sixers wing and his Portland Trail Blazers. It took a game-winner from Joel Embiid to seure the win. Not only did Embiid lead Philly to victory but he also got the best of Thybulle after his eye-opening take about his time with the team.
The day prior to the Sixers and Blazers’ matchup, Thybulle said that he felt much more “fear-based” play with Philadelphia compared to Portland. Throughout his tenure with his new team, he has spoken about the new comfort he feels with Portland.
After the win, Embiid said that he told Thybulle that he was “unhappy with some of the comments that was made lately. But it’s whatever. I mean, it’s hard. Playing in Philly’s not easy. It’s a lot of pressure that comes with it. Every year you’re expected to win. Doesn’t even matter if they believe that you have a good team or a good enough team to win a championship. That’s the expectations and that’s why there’s not a lot of people that can play here and survive here.”
Matisse Thybulle became a great defender with the Sixers but failed to develop his game on offense beyond being an okay shooter and solid off-ball cutter. Some of it was because he didn’t always get the chance to work through prolonged struggles. But he did have many chances to improve and show that he could be trusted in big moments. He ultimately didn’t do enough to convince the front office to keep him.
“Some guys have different mindsets. For some guys it’s all about winning and for some guys, it’s all about playing, just playing basketball,” Embiid continued. “But like I said ,he was great when we had him here. I wish him well. I still believe that he has a lot of potential and it’s all about him putting the work in, especially shooting.”
Joel Embiid lives for the spotlight and the pressure to win. He wants his Sixers teammates to feel that intensity within themselves as they pursue a championship. While he still stated his appreciation for Thybulle, his focus is now quickly swinging back to Philly’s title pursuit.