Sixers Guard Matisse Thybulle and Spurs Guard Patty Mills helped lead Team Australia to victory in the pre-Olympic drama.
The young guard of the Philadelphia 76ers, Matisse Thybulle, was a breakout star last season, especially in the defensive field. But Thybulle showed some serious offensive skills during the pre-Olympic drama for Team Australia.
Thybulle moved to Australia when he was two and lived there with his family for seven years. The 24-year-old took to the pitch for the Boomers on Saturday night and did not disappoint. He scored 15 points and got five rebounds in an 87-84 win against Argentina from behind. Even more impressive was that he did three triples while scoring four steals and three blocks.
« Defensive, the move he made in the third quarter, the blocking shot, the breakout and the hitting that corner three, « Boomers coach Brian Goorjian told the Western Australian. “You can just see that it feels good out there, it’s a piece that just didn’t exist and it’s a great asset for us. It’s an appreciation to be a part of it, you can tell he’s enjoying it and what happened tonight gives him confidence on the way to Tokyo. «
Ben Simmons is arguably the most famous basketball star of Australian origin. However, the embattled Sixers star decided to skip the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as he prepares to work on his jump shot this summer. Simmons has been the subject of a lot of trade rumors since Philly’s early exit from the playoffs – and the butt of some really nasty jokes.
« The most important fact and characteristic of our group is how we support one another through the good, the bad and the ugly, whatever it is, and Ben is no exception, « Australian star Patty Mills said of Simmons’ inquirer. « No matter what he does, I and the team will continue to support him because this is a safe place – everyone needs to know and understand that we need to support Ben on his way now more than ever. »
Ben Simmons did officially withdrew from the Australian Boomers’ campaign for the Tokyo Olympics, Basketball Australia announced in a press release at 5.30 a.m. pic.twitter.com/K3Tga9j9Nz
Thybulle was asked why he put so much emphasis on defense after a playoff game at the end of May. He immediately referred to his father – a beginner hoops fan at the time – for helping convey the importance of closing down the opposition.
« Maybe like in fifth grade. My father always preached defense, ”said Thybulle when defense became his thing. “He didn’t really understand basketball at first when I started playing, and then he became a referee. He taught himself the game and simply realized that from a young age what boys were good at guarding always had a place on every team. So he just preached this to me. And then for some reason I just had a knack for it and everything worked out. ”
The Washington product was voted 12th in the NBA Defensive Player of the Year vote. Simmons was runner-up for the award, while All- Star center Joel Embiid finished in seventh place.
Thybulle also earned a spot on the all-defense team, becoming only the 26th player in NBA history to claim the honor within his first two seasons in the league secured. He received 57 votes for the second team and three votes for the first team, even though he only logged 20 minutes per game.
« It’s an honor, » Thybulle told reporters on June 18. « I take it as a compliment, but everything, it just encourages me to work harder and it motivates me to want to win even more. »
Matisse Thybulle is the first player in NBA history to do less recorded 5 blocks and 4 steals as 35 minutes of a playoff game.
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