‘That Was Not Happening In Philly, This Is My City’ | Matisse Thybulle Puts Name On Map In Denying Steph Curry 3-PT Record

Defense still wins championships in today’s offense-driven, three-point hoisting NBA.

It’s just not appreciated until there’s an exceptional scorer in a huge moment that needs to be stopped. That’s when lockdown defenders become 24K gold nuggets to a coach’s game plan. And shine like the offensive superstars on which they are putting the clamps.

ESPN Jay Williams Calls Steph Curry Most ‘Revolutionary Offensive Player Ever’ | He Just May Be Right

Enter Matisse Thybulle on a night when all the world wants for Christmas is for Steph Curry to beat Ray Allen’s three-point career record.

The Golden State Warriors arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday, looking to improve on their NBA-best record and to celebrate Curry becoming the NBA’s all-time leader in three pointers made. Well, neither happened. Thybulle played the role of Grinch and his Sixers held Curry to 18 points on 20 shots and just (3-of-14) from three.

That still leaves him seven from tying Ray Allen and eight from taking the top spot in league history for triples made. It’s inevitable it will happen, but players are taking it personally every night.

Sixers star Joel Embiid was talking real greasy after the game.

“That was not happening on my court, there’s no way! That was not happening in Philly, this is my city.” said Joel Embiid in a postgame interview.

Matisse Thybulle Shines In Defensive Effort

The Sixers team defense on Curry was excellent as players didn’t allow him much airspace. They always kept length on him, even on switches. The main defensive assignment was given to Thybulle, and he didn’t disappoint. He chased the ever-elusive Curry around screens, blocking two of his three-point attempts. In fact, last night was the first time any defender has ever blocked two of Curry’s three-point attempts in the same game.

When asked what’s most challenging about guarding Steph Curry, Thybulle said, “His conditioning. To be able to go at that pace the whole game for as long as he plays… to be active and engaged in every play; it’s not a fun job trying to chase him.”

The results are a credit to the relentless and controlled aggression of Thybulle on the defensive end, where he makes his money.

Thybulle seemed to enjoy the challenge of guarding one of the league’s greatest players. He knew Curry was going for the record and acknowledged so in his postgame interview.

“It was no secret that he was going for the record. Joel and I talked today and said we’re not letting it happen in our house. I took it upon myself to make sure it didn’t.”

Thybulle’s defensive effort even drew praise from Warriors coach Steve Kerr

“I give Thybulle credit,” Kerr said. He’s a rare combination of length, athleticism and brains. He did as good a job on Steph as anybody I’ve in a long time.”

Embiid called his teammate a future “Defensive Player of the Year.”

Thybulle’s Defense Is Calling Card

Coming into the NBA, many compared Thybulle to former elite wing defenders Thabo Sefolosha and Andre Roberson, who both had their brightest defensive moments while in an OKC Thunder uniform. Two lockdown defenders who couldn’t score a lot, similar to what Thybulle is at this point in his career.

While starring at Washington, Thybulle showed elite defender traits like being disruptive with his hands, playing the passing lanes and using his length to bother shooters without fouling. He also had great reflexes and timing on his reactions and all of that was on display in his defensive masterpiece versus Curry.

The former two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year (2018 and 2019), Naismith Defensive Player of the Year (2019) and NBA All-Defensive Second Team (2021) player is a budding defensive star. He has the looks of a future NBA DPOY and will eventually make multiple All-NBA defensive teams. For one night, he outshined the best shooter in the game and two-time MVP. When you stop the best you get recognized.


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