The Philadelphia 76ers knew the challenge they were facing on Friday when they welcomed in the rival Boston Celtics. Despite their record, the Celtics offer up two high-scoring machines in Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown who are tough to handle on a nightly basis.
The Sixers threw Matisse Thybulle on both of them and he did what he does best which is cause havoc and make life miserable for them both. The two of them combined to shoot 4-for-20 in the first half and they ended up shooting 14-for-35 on the night as the Sixers knocked off the Celtics 111-99.
“He was the guy,” said coach Doc Rivers. “He was phenomenal. He guarded Tatum, he guarded Brown, but I thought we did a good job with the other guys defending the other guy. I thought the team defense was as good as it can get with great individual efforts as well.”
This was one of those games that Thybulle just makes a huge impact on. The Celtics offer a big defensive challenge and he steps up to the challenge of doing what he does best and making life miserable for opponents.
“You can tell he loves these types of matchups,” said Joel Embiid. “You go back to the Steph (Curry) one and all year really, we’ve played Boston now three times. JT has really struggled against him. He has length and he’s athletic getting into passing lanes, able to recover, that’s huge.”
His ability to get into the passing lanes was huge in order for the Sixers to get off to a good start. Philadelphia ended the first quarter on a 28-4 run in order to take a 32-14 lead after one quarter.
“Good energy,” said Seth Curry. “Good defense, sharing the ball, and we got stops to make them take a bunch of tough shots which they’re willing to do. We just tried to stay in front of them, send help all over the floor, and rebounded the ball, got a lot of steals, and got out and ran. Our offense was good because our defense was good.”
Thybulle ended his night with five steals and two blocks before leaving with right shoulder soreness. It was an impressive showing for one of the game’s elite defenders out on the floor.
“Every team needs that and I always tell him to be as aggressive as he wants because I’m back there and I’m gonna cover anything,” Embiid added. “Hopefully, he’s OK and we can keep on winning games.”
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Source: Yahoo Sports