Fri. Jun 5th, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers: 3 reasons Matisse Thybulle will make All-Rookie 1st Team – The Sixer Sense

Philadelphia 76ers: 3 reasons Matisse Thybulle will make All-Rookie 1st Team  The Sixer Sense

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Philadelphia 76ers’ first-round pick might exceed expectations in 2019-20.

Matisse Thybulle was selected 20th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in June’s NBA Draft. The reigning Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year could surprise folks with his production as a rookie.

3. Defensive playmaking

Since 1992, here is the list of college basketball players who have averaged at least 1.5 blocks per game, at least two steals per game, all while shooting above 81.6 percent from the free throw line for a full season: Josh Howard, Robert Covington, Shane Battier, Matisse Thybulle.

Clearly, this is an elite group. There are only four players to ever do it. Even in this elite group, Thybulle stands a cut above on the defensive end. He averaged 3.5 steals in his final season at Washington; none of the other three on this list averaged more than 2.2. Thubulle also blocked more shots than anyone else in this group.

The other three went on to have awesome NBA careers. Josh Howard, who was picked with the 29th pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, made the All-Rookie second team. Shane Battier made the All-Rookie first team. Covington played seven games his rookie year, essentially making him ineligible for the distinction.

Simply put, Thybulle makes plays on the defensive end. On a team with Joel Embiid protecting the rim behind him, Thybulle can afford to gamble. He’ll have the freedom to play defense how he wants to play it: deflecting passes, getting live-ball steals, blocking shots and making good things happen.