Philadelphia 76ers

Five mind-blowing defensive stops from Philadelphia 76ers guard Matisse Thybulle

Can someone who comes off the bench make an All-Defense Team?

Asking for Matisse Thybulle.

In only his second season with the Philadelphia 76ers, Thybulle is quickly establishing himself as one of the most disruptive defenders in the league. Despite logging a limited 20.0 minutes per game, there are only five players currently averaging more steals than him (1.6) and only nine averaging more deflections (3.1). He also ranks first among all guards with an average of 1.1 blocks per game.

According to Stathead, the last guard to average at least 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks in a season was Dwyane Wade, a future Hall of Famer who racked up three All-Defensive Second Team selections in his career.

Now that he's getting more of an opportunity, it feels like Thybulle does something every game that sends social media into a frenzy.

With that in mind, let's nerd out over some of Thybulle's most impressive stops.

5. Wait, what?

Thybulle is impossible to shake loose. Just ask T.J. McConnell.

I told you we were going to nerd out, so I don't feel bad about gushing over how quickly he recovers.

Here is his pivot slowed down and zoomed in:

Even the Pacers announcer's (Quinn Buckner) mind was blown by Thybulle's recovery speed.

4. Gotcha!

How many times have you seen Kemba Walker break someone's ankles with a lightning-quick crossover?

Considering there's a nearly five-minute compilation of his nastiest crossovers on the NBA's YouTube account, probably quite a few.

Now, how many times have you seen Walker break someone's ankles, only for the person whose ankles he broke to recover in time to block his shot?

There's a good chance you haven't ... until now.

If it makes Walker feel any better, blocking 3-pointers has kind of become Thybulle's thing.

According to PBP Stats, Thybulle swatted a total of 21 3-point attempts last season, the most in the league. (Remember, he was a rookie averaging 19.8 minutes per game. He had no business leading the league in anything, really). This season, he's swatted 21 3-pointer attempts, putting him behind only Toronto Raptors big man Chris Boucher (24) for most in the league.

Bonus points for turning this one into an easy two on the other end.

3. Not today, Book

I wrote about this one in more depth here, but it's so nice that you have to see it twice.

Absurd.

2. Don't they know I eat 3-pointers for breakfast?

Even more absurd? What Thybulle did to poor Luke Kennard.

Seriously, how in the world did this result in a block?

It speaks to a couple of things. One, how rangy Thybulle is. He stands at a solid 6-foot-5, but it's his 6-foot-11 wingspan that makes him such a pest defensively. When he spreads his arms out, it puts every pass at risk of being picked off and every shot at risk of being blocked. (Just imagine trying to score against him and Ben Simmons with Joel Embiid anchoring the paint. There's a reason the 76ers are giving up only 96.3 points per 100 possessions with the three of them on the court this season). Two, his recovery speed that we already touched on. How many players in the league could've helped off of Kennard that aggressively and still recover in time to block his shot?

I don't know what the answer to that question is, but it's not many.

Thybulle's block is even more impressive considering Kennard is primarily a shooter. According to NBA.com, almost half (40.9 percent) of his field-goal attempts this season have been 3s and he's knocked them down at a 45.2 percent clip, making him one of the best spot-up shooters in the league. He's not someone who usually struggles to get his shot off on the perimeter.

1. Sorry not sorry

As for the rudest play of them all...

That's Thybulle blocking the 3-point attempt of a legit 7-footer in Lauri Markkanen, then recovering immediately to pick off his pass. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

If this is the type of stuff Thybulle is doing in his second season, it's scary to think what he's going to be doing at his peak.

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