Sixers Defensive Stopper Flashes New-Look Jump Shot at Training Camp

Matisse Thybulle, Sixers

Getty Matisse Thybulle #22 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots during the second quarter against the Toronto Raptors during Game One of the Eastern Conference First Round at Wells Fargo Center.

One of the players with the most questions to answer heading into the 2022-23 NBA season is Matisse Thybulle. The fourth-year forward is heading into the final season of his rookie contract and has been connected to trade rumors throughout the summer. Daryl Morey declined to comment on the status of negotiations with the defensive standout during Sixers media day. The Washington product also appears to be losing his spot in the starting lineup due to the addition of PJ Tucker.

There will be a number of eyes on Thybulle as he has a lot to prove this season. The biggest question is if he has continued in his offensive development which has been the area of his game most lacking. Doc Rivers and several other members of the praised Thybulle for the offseason work he has put in this summer. The 25-year-old displayed the new-look jump shot Saturday morning following the team’s practice in which media members were able to catch a glance.

Thybulle’s Three-Point Struggles

Everyone is aware of what Thybulle can do on the defensive end of the court, but his inability to constantly knock down jump shots has limited his time on the court. As a rookie, he shot 35.7% from beyond the three-point arc and attempted 2.4 long-range shots per game while playing 19.8 minutes per game off the bench.

Thybulle took a step in the wrong direction in his second season in the NBA and connected on just 30.1% of his three-point attempts. He saw a slight bump in minutes played (20.0 mins per game) but attempted just 2.2 three-point attempts per game during the 2020-21 season.

Last season, the two-time All-NBA Defensive team member served as the Sixers’ primary fifth starter. His playing time increased to 25.5 minutes per game and he played a valuable part in the five-man unit that outscored opponents by 19.4 points per 100 possessions. Despite the additional on-court time, Thybulle still attempted 2.2 three-point attempts and connected at a 31.3% rate.

Expectations for the 2022-23 Season

If Thybulle can increase his three-point percentage and connect at or above the NBA average of 35.2% on three-pointers he could be one of the most impactful two-way role players across the entire league. Last season he was the only player in the NBA to average over 1.7 steals and 1.1 blocks last season. Thybulle also held opponents to just 40.7% shooting from the field when he was the primary defender.

During his media day session, Thybulle spoke on this being the first offseason he has truly had the opportunity to break down his game and make changes. Following his rookie year, he played with the Australian National team and the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted his offseason plans the following year.

With a clean slate this summer, Thybulle had a grueling offseason workout which included spending time in the gym with DeMar DeRozan and Dame Lillard. Sixers fans are sure to be under close watch for how his shot and confidence look when play resumes on the court. He spoke to reporters about cutting out unnecessary movement in his shooting form and the early clips of the jump shot seem to suggest this is the case.

With increased competition for minutes and the hope of earning a new contract, there is a great deal of pressure on Thybulle this season. If his confidence and effectiveness of his jump shot continue to grow, the sky is the limit for what his potential could be.

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