Sixers Teammate Feels Bad for Rivals After Joel Embiid Smashes Record

Matisse Thybulle, Joel Embiid

Getty Joel Embiid has been putting up MVP numbers during the 2021-22 campaign while challenging teammates like Matisse Thybulle.

Joel Embiid has become must-watch TV over the past two weeks. Well, to be fair, he probably started owning your cable box last year. The Philadelphia 76ers big man dropped 31 points in Houston on Monday night to set another franchise record.

This time, Embiid topped Allen Iverson for the most consecutive road games with at least 30 points. His final stat line: 31 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and two blocks in 26 minutes. The Sixers beat the Rockets 111-91 to run their winning streak to a season-high seven games.

It’s getting really hard not to start the NBA MVP conversation with the 7-footer from Cameroon. He also became only the third Sixers player to notch seven straight 30-point games of any kind, on the road or at home. Iverson and Wilt Chamberlain are tied for the franchise mark there with eight. He’s averaging 29.5 points and 9.0 rebounds over his last 10 contests while going 98-for-117 from the free-throw line. Unstoppable.

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Matisse Thybulle Feels Bad for Every Other Team

Embiid has single-handedly resurrected the Sixers from the grave. And himself following a serious battle with COVID-19. He has fueled a seven-game winning streak while putting his team back in the championship mix. Philadelphia (23-16) has moved up to fifth place in the Eastern Conference standings, all on the big man’s back.

Matisse Thybulle couldn’t stop gushing about his MVP teammate. Embiid sees double teams every night and toys with opposing defenders with his passing. Or, he draws the foul and gets to the line where he makes them pay.

“It is so much better being Joel’s teammate than not being Joel’s teammate,” Thybulle told Lauren Rosen. “Night in and night out I feel so really bad for the other team because there’s nothing you can do to stop somebody like that. And his ability to become more of a playmaker and pick teams apart with the double teams, I don’t know what it’s like in their scouting room when they’re trying to figure out what to do but it’s not fun.”

Embiid Challenged Teammate to Shoot

Embiid has challenged two teammates in recent weeks to step up and be more aggressive. First, the All-Star center poked fun at Tyrese Maxey after a “terrible” shooting night. Then, Embiid needled Thybulle to shoot more three-pointers instead of passing the ball. It was all in good fun (hint, hint: Ben Simmons) but those players took his playful criticism to heart.

“When the best player on your team challenges you to do more on the offensive end, to have the confidence of your best player is really encouraging, and he’s done it to numerous guys at this point,” Thybulle said. “It’s just been cool. I’m on Year 3 now in the NBA, just to see how he’s grown into this leadership role. Because it’s not like a traditional leader, like for a player to call out a teammate in media to shoot more threes, in a positive way … it’s very uncommon but it works and it gets us to really feel confident about the way he feels about us on the court.”

Thybulle jacked up five triples versus Houston and knocked down two of them for 10 points. Again, it’s all about taking the shots and not passing them up. It was the most three-pointers Thybulle had attempted since December 9.

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