Sixers Starter Opens Up on James Harden’s Impact On Him

matisse thybulle

Getty Matisse Thybulle is finding new opportunities with James Harden.

The Philadelphia 76ers are officially championship contenders after the trade for superstar James Harden.

In the trade, the Sixers shipped Seth Curry, Andre Drummond and Ben Simmons out of town to land him from the Brooklyn Nets, but the early returns have been very promising.

Not everyone is ready to call the duo of Harden and Joel Embiid the second coming of the Shaq and Kobe Lakers, but this does have potential to be one of the most entertaining Sixers teams in recent memory.

While the new superstar duo has captured most of the headlines, Harden’s impact has been felt from everybody across the roster. Defensive stalwart Matisse Thybulle, somebody who isn’t know for his offensive abilities, says Harden’s arrival has opened up many opportunities for him that just weren’t there before.


Thybulle Getting More Chances

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GettyJames Harden is already having a big impact.

In his two games with Harden, Thybulle has scored 11 points and eight points respectively, which might not seem like a lot, but it’s where he got the buckets that matters.

The forward says he worked on his cutting ability this season, and with Harden now in the fold, he’s had more chances at getting good shots at the rim.

“It’s been huge,” Thybulle said via the Sixers Wire. “We’re using more screening situations, pick-and-rolls, double drags, and him and I developing a relationship and a feel for each other in that sense. For me having it be something relatively new, it’s just a learning process, and his ability to find me and just feeling the whole thing out has been pretty cool.”

This is similar to the role Bruce Brown played with the Nets when Harden was a player in Brooklyn, and the superstar guard was able to open up a lot of opportunities at the basket.

It’s always been said that the great players make the others around them better, and Thybulle certainly seems to believe Harden is doing that.

“My ability to do it over the course of the summer and then now learning how to do it with this new team, different scheme, and now to add another layer of James Harden to it and just how many more doors it opens for me, it’s been huge,” he said.


High Ceiling

Matisse Thybulle

GettyMatisse Thybulle is only getting better.

If Thybulle is able to open up his offensive game playing alongside Harden and Embiid, then the possibilities for him seem endless.

In his third year in the league, he’s already emerged as one of the game’s toughest defenders and a night where he gets five steals is not unexpected.

His main source of weakness has always been his offense, and if he could become a reliable three point shooter, then he’d provide a lot more value on top of what he’s already delivering.

For the time being, getting easy shots around the rim will be more than enough for the Sixers, but there’s still plenty of holes in Thybulle’s game that can still be developed. With Tyrese Maxey, Tobias Harris, Harden and Embiid around to carry the offensive load, Thybulle doesn’t need to do a whole lot.

READ NEXT: Sixers React to James Harden’s Philly Debut: ‘Louder, Crazy, Good’

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