CAMDEN, NJ — With James Harden sidelined for a month, the Philadelphia 76ers need to band together and play the best they can. One of the players that Doc Rivers is turning to is Matisse Thybulle, who has seen a big uptick in minutes after not playing much in the Sixers’ first few games of the season.
Thybulle’s defense has always spoken for itself but his value on offense has, perhaps just as consistently, remained quiet. He is working to become a legitimate 3-point shooter and while the early results are not super promising (2-9 shooting from deep in 94 minutes of playing time), an increased willingness to even attempt a shot is a key step in the right direction.
At the Sixers’ morning shootaround ahead of a matchup with the Phoenix Suns, Thybulle discussed how he is still looking to improve his shooting. He also mentioned that a former Philly player gave him some key advice that he is looking to follow.
“It’s a product of the work and it is its own work,” Thybulle said of building up confidence in his 3-point shot. “JJ Redick told me a long time ago that the only thing you can really do to get your confidence up is to do the work.” He added that believing in that work and himself is another important aspect of it.
Redick, one of the best 3-point shooters in NBA history, played for the Sixers in the two seasons prior to Thybulle’s rookie year. The advice he gave to one of his replacements on the wing in Philly is something the rest of Thybulle’s teammates, like Tobias Harris, are stressing to him.
Thybulle said he feels support from his teammates “across the board” and singled out Joel Embiid as one of the many teammates who encourage him to let it fly. “I feel actually really lucky in that sense to have teammates that do believe in me and encourage me to take those next steps,” he said.
Even as Embiid works his way back from illness, Thybulle and the rest of the Sixers will need to get off clean looks and stretch the defense as best as they can. Any threes Thybulle can provide will be much appreciated but, like always, he will mainly be needed for his defense against the Suns. He will likely spend a lot of time guarding Devin Booker, who he described as relentless.